elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, January 6th, 2017 07:05 am
Last week, I reflected on managing the demands and stress of being in a caregiving role. I think i am beginning to hear Christine's message to me that we have moved into chronic illness care. While she has gotten better since the acute episodes some years ago, the "getting better" trajectory may not continue.

There's a balance i need to find between hope for continued improvement and sustainability. After writing last week and corresponding with [livejournal.com profile] bobby1933, i asked myself, "What am I attached to?" My plan, was my answer to myself. The "ah-ha" for me (that won't be obvious to anyone else) is for me to recall the bad habits i developed in grad school. In the morning i would say, "I am going to make progress on my dissertation today by doing X!" Get to the lab and there's a crisis with the computer system to address. That crisis might be over by noon, but my inner message was, "Well there goes today! I've been interrupted and can't make progress. I will go read all of Usenet."

In hope, i plan for a morning (my most productive time) that includes Christine at her best. When elephants intrude, i am taken by surprise, and my intention is thwarted. If i don't set intentions, i loose that productive time. The obvious (to everyone else?) and challenging (to me) thing to do is to set the intention with the awareness that interruptions may happen.

Ugh.

Great, universe, thanks for handing me ANOTHER chance to learn this skill.

Wrestling with my issue. )
OK, a vague area for queries for me to carry into the next week.
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 07:17 am
For some reason, it feels warmer outside today, even though the thermostat reads a bit warmer in the house. I suppose it's something to do with slight humidity levels. I'm on the deck, listening to the wind in the trees. We are promised a rain storm today, very welcome. I've a big pile of brush we cleared on Saturday that needs to be disposed of, which is by burning it here, out in the woods. I'm learning NOT to burn to ash but to stop at a char stage, and then use the charcoal/biochar in the garden. The ash is a fine amendment for our acid soil, but i can get lime for that.

My compost is in the red zone this morning, which is finally up in the pathogen and seed killing temperature. Huzzah. 

I need to make a new place for composting: the current location is too visible. I fantasize about creating a woven (wattle) screen around the area. It's not like i'm wanting for materials. The autumn olive branches are very flexible, and it would be nice to put them to use.

--== ∞ ==--

List of things i'm procrastinating over:
communication with extended family and friends
getting my to-do list back into order after a month of ignoring it
getting engaged with Meeting
photography
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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 08:44 am
LIFO, Last in-first out, is in my impression an "anti-pattern" for personal effectiveness. Get to the requests that came in first, respond to the oldest emails, etc.

I'm not 100% certain of that. I have grown to appreciate that opportunities are constantly making themselves available, and i periodically strike off old to-dos ("punt"), file old emails (email and comment bankruptcy), and in general focus on the present. So, that's what i tried to do this morning to get myself going instead of the "read the whole internet" strategy that i have been employing lately.

I must say, Usenet kept me fixated MUCH LONGER than the internet does today. I suppose the surfeit of choice makes me more picky. Facebook is excluded from my "read the internet," so that removes all sorts of trivia. I do have an extensive list of web comics, but they are optimized -- i have reading lists for each day of the week, and i simply open all the tabs in my bookmarks to have a cascade of amusing reading to do. I've added various local news sources that don't have RSS feeds.

--== ∞ ==--

Oh oh oh my soil tests are in!!

Fairly acid, pH 5.5. Potassium is good, but it seems like there's very little phosphorus. The report is given as an index, and the lawn area reports very very high phosphorus. I don't know if the index is so different because of the difference in planned planting (a grass that doesn't like being over fertilized vs a vegetable garden) or if the previous owners fertilized the fenced in lawn area to death. The area near the lawn, that has been the target of much of our clearing, i specified would be for apples. It took seems to have an extremely low phosphorous rating.

I want to find out if tobacco cropping leaves phosphorus depleted soils. That might hint at the land's history.

ETA Hrm, this 1927 report http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/tobacco_bulletins/tb_7.pdf says tobacco is not a heavy phosphorus feeder.
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Sunday, March 8th, 2015 06:35 am
One might argue that the time i spent grooming my Evernote tags (merging tags that meant about the same thing, making consistent the use of "." or ": and all caps vs lower case) was not so much procrastination as all i could manage thanks to the onset of daylight savings time. However, procrastination is occurring. I've created a yam for myself for no good reason, except that summarizing the State of the Meeting is daunting. Apparently i'm expecting a great deal from myself.

I have a nagging feeling that there is a third person to whom i want to send condolences. I dug the cards out last night, but i can't recall the third. THERE, flashes the memory. It's someone whose husband died unexpectedly about the same time Christine's mother died.

I'm just catching up, i think, from the winter with its additional blues this year. All the "ticklers" and "to dos" are in order now. There is a deep pile of physical paper and a backlog of email, but I'm nibbling at it. And if i did the procrastination-causing task, a nice chunk of emails would be covered.

I guess it's time to do that task. What foot dragging!
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Thursday, December 11th, 2014 04:11 pm
The Mercury News coverage of the storm notes that there's been unusually light traffic: my colleagues and i are part of that with most of us working from home today. It's wonderfully wet. One colleague was without power all day.

Christine withstood Edward's wheedling for quite a while, and there even was a point where we offered him out, and Edward stood, staring out at the rain, then returned inside. But he's now out.

I have been procrastinating a bit, as there is something large for me to understand, and i lost a week to bereavement leave. I'm helping the colleague who took over my role to do one of the painful tasks, and so those interruptions are playing into my old procrastination habits. However, i think this afternoon i pushed past the initiation barrier, and i should make some more progress tomorrow. I have also done something i never learned to do in grad school: i lowered my expectations for myself.

Now to sort out what sort of energy i have left. Christine is very blue today, and that certainly plays into my energy levels, too.
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Monday, August 12th, 2013 05:38 pm
So, i have quantized most of my Piles of Stuff

  • 6 install plans to write tonight (which will each spawn more tasks)

  • 7+12+5 work todos (that was many fewer than i thought -- but the 48 incoming evernote records will have more)

  • Physically: 6 books, 3 projects in LR; 36 oz papers in office

  • Evernote:48 incoming; 15 tag:+20130815; 37 tag:"+LATE_TICKLES"; 82 tag:@[Meeting]*

  • 48 email




My sister is going to have a stack of hours to herself for a week later this month. Let's say three hours a day. She and i talked about her using it for brainstorming/discernment time.

Is there a practice you engaged in for about that time frame that you've used to plan what you want to do for a year or so? I can cobble up something for her from the practices i've put together, but i'm curious if there are any practices you've had that helped you.
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Monday, June 3rd, 2013 08:04 pm
8 pm on the deck, the sun not quite set. Anna's hummingbirds feed at the scented geraniums and chase each other about. Goldfinches eat thistle seed, robins warble, California towhees hit their single note over and over. Crows call in the distance, and gulls cruise above the redwoods. I note the temperature (66.2 °F), sunset in 20 minutes, and wonder how quickly it will cool off.

I've a sweatshirt, jazz, tea and too much to do.

8:11 hummingbird checks out the lemon tree and the house finches "feeding." From the sound of the seed hitting the deck, i imagine them just tossing it out of the feeder. I've made it onto the VPN, onto the software control page and type while waiting for my approval to cycle.

8:16 Goldfinch at feeder. Distant robins. The highway sounds begin to dominate. A gull flies by catching the last red light. Sun still glows on the redwood bark.

8:20 four minutes to sunset and the goldfinch flies off. Robins are still singing.

8:26 Jazz and the highway and very distant crows. A robin whinnies around the corner. Mr M comes out on the deck to explore between the pots. It is remarkable how quickly the birds responded. It's dropped half a degree Fahrenheit.

8:44: airplanes, robins, and an insistant California towhee. Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. Sky is still light, but colors are fading to silhouettes. The cats circle me on the deck. The glow of the solar garden lights now seems significant.

8:50 last tweet? Mr M nests in my lap.

8:54 Mr M gives up on my lap. A robin is still warbling in the far distance. The sky is still light with no stars. I keep hearing Edward's collar bell ring from the nearby sidewalk.

8:59 I toss a blanket over my lap.It's 64.5 °F. Two install plans done, two to go. Not going to get to my performance appraisal or monthly report today.

9:50 Stars are out. I've made a nice dinner and eaten it. I just heard a cat yowl and went down to find Edward facing off with a inky black cat.

10:17 I'm done. Had a lovely chat with Christine who will be home tomorrow, huzzah. 61.8 °F
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 08:00 am
I have, in the past year or so, finally come to a way of tracking to-dos and such that i am able to be persistent and consistent in recovering them over time.

There's a problem with that: the natural forgetfulness that erases the "Oh, that would be nice to do," opportunities fails me, and so i am swamped with "nice to dos" and "ought to dos." Forgetfulness made prioritization so much more easy. Email is "easy" to prioritize: a bunch of messages over a few weeks old? I sweep those under a rug. But when i've made the commitment to get it on a list or flag it for the future, it's a little harder. I'm working on the practice of adding expiration dates. "If i don't read this in a month, nevermind." I think i need to be more ruthless, though. What makes the future have more time than the now?

Some of this effort is to quit multitasking. If i sort *through* a pile and clear it out, leaving notes on the actions is that more focused than following up on every step? Theoretically, i'm able at the end of the sorting to know what is critical or important in the pile as opposed to simply interesting.

I like the idea of becoming more intentional about what i "lay down"*. Yesterday i sorted through a box that had become, essentially, a junk box. Implicit projects hid in the box: parts bought to fix things, resolve problems we no longer have, broken things to fix, items that could be reused in some crafty way, and so on. I threw out, recycled, or put aside for a rummage sale most of the stuff in that box. I gave a broken thing back to Christine: she could keep it until time came to fix it. I went through my yarn & dye project boxes, too. I have discarded early crochet work: particularly a large, stiff shopping bag project that i started with recycled plastic bags. It was good practice, but i have beautiful yarns to use now, and much more rewarding projects to finish.


* This is a term used in Quaker process. We lay down a committee when its work is done, lay down tasks and roles when we no longer feel called in that direction.
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Sunday, June 17th, 2012 06:40 am
Today is one of those fun days where i will be trying to finish a number of procrastination targets. That means the dish washer is running, the bird feeder is topped off, i've gone out to check on the racket the crows were making....

I think the crows are a family with recent fledglings: my were they making a ruckus! I half hoped that one of the young ones would be not be fledged enough and that we could adopt it. I believe a pet crow could stand up even to Edward! Happily all the youngsters were fine, just making short flights from various railings to eves as the parents exhorted longer flights.

There's nothing particularly loathsome about the procrastination targets themselves. On the otherhand, look, one of my staff is logged in and replying to a message from someone doing the install overnight. What the!!!

** Time passes as i leave a voicemail with my Dad, collect all the laundry and sort it, win a game of Lexulous (a rare event for me), get a bingo on my first move in the rematch (ditto), and chitchat with Christine and Mr M **

Ahem.

A Procrastination Log )
I made minor progress. Off to meeting in a bit.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 07:51 am
Superduper procrastinator, that's me. A good bit of yesterday's procrastination was willful, but i finally got the reporting done in time for us to see the 8:30 showing of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We were, in fact, early, and Christine wanted to enjoy the theater ambiance. Instead, we flinched under promotions for TNT and ABC television shows. As SF themed cliche and trope vehicles bounced over the screen in front of us, i wondered why everything must be the same genera. I'm thankful the SF generas are prolific, but what would breadth look like? I asked Christine of what genera would she wish to see more. (In my mind, Marigold Hotel is in the Boomers Getting Older genera: RED, Bucket List, and Something's Gotta Give... Does On Golden Pond count? Seems too early. I digress.)

Trailers ran and The Intouchables was previewed. "More of these," Christine said, after watching the hints of narrative crossing boundaries of privilege and ability.

Admittedly, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel also crossed boundaries, too. I feared Christine and i would be the youngest folks in the theater, but we weren't. We were the youngest Caucasians, perhaps. The treatment of India seemed authentic, and Indians helped fill up the grey theater.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel reminds me of Outsourced, too, which i enjoyed. I assume the globalization theme takes on India because of the English language exoticism: China would be harder?

--==∞==--

In food questions: are pinto beans stinky?

We tend to buy dried kidney and black beans, and canned kidney, black, and cannellini. I bought pinto beans recently, and yesterday made a couple plates of nibbles by spooning five beans into a cup shaped tortilla chip, adding cheese and salsa, and zapping. The pintos definitely had an odor, that Christine, far more sensitive to offensive scents than i, later found incredibly repulsive.

I've always thought of beans as basically having the same flavor, subsumed by all the spices and flavorings in which the beans are cooked. Do you notice a difference in bean scents and flavors? Texture, yes, i've always noticed a difference in texture and density.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 06:42 am
Hello procrastination. Hello waking up rather early. Hello Greycie Loo wanting attention.

Hello Friends.

I had the most decadent salad last night. Romaine, red seedless grapes, an avocado, some tiny cubes of mozzarella cheese, the half of the onion rings that didn't get eaten between the Jack and the Box at the grocery and home (chopped up), and a dash of ginger vinaigrette.

I think that's actually a nutritional win, given that we went to the grocery store before eating dinner.

I did exercise last night, spinning on the bike on the trainer for twenty minutes. I probably should read something about "the right way" to do cardio and fitness on a stationary bike, since i'll be at it for the next four months. I miss riding it out under the stars, but once the weather became the least bit damp i couldn't motivate myself to go out.

I'm trying to be balanced in my care of my self, not demanding too much personally, acknowledging that professionally much is demanded. Yesterday's workday was the biweekly intensity of sprint kickoff, where i was multitasking like mad to address the problems that we are behind in addressing. I felt good at the end of the day, despite the challenges. It was a good work day. I probably have more of those than i acknowledge.

During this i also wrote two very delinquent missives that i've been feeling guilty about not attending to more promptly. Yay, that should make way for an effective working evening.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 06:35 am
Oh, procrastination and making mountains out of molehills, why? why? why?

But, in a miracle of doing loathed tasks a day before deadline (although it had been on my mind to do this all last week) the quarterly "report" was done at 4:45. My boss had time to read it and point out a mistake while i did my timecard (also a day before deadline). The revision was circulated by 5 pm.

I resent the report so because it is an empty ritual. The reporting is so stripped of detail that there's no way anyone could act on the information provided. The powerpoint format has me muttering "O-rings. Kaboom."
Tufte loathes PowerPoint, whose format he says gives short shrift to evidence and encourages cheerleading, pitching and a preoccupation with form over content in ways that ultimately corrupt thinking. “The worst thing Microsoft has ever done is to replace the fundamental unit of analysis, the sentence, with the bullet, the grunt,’’ he says. -- here


But i did it. I drove home to the delight of Christine being home. We chopped veggies and made a clam chowder together, then went went for a walk in the dark while it simmered. Home for soup, video entertainment, and crochet. I am faster with rows in My First Sock, but they needed to be ripped out when i realized the joins were not merely sloppy but would also be uncomfortable.

I woke feeling much more refreshed and rested. I tortured myself over the quarterly report: I admit it. One of the things i discussed with my therapist last week is feeling the benefits of the hard work i've done over the years. This morning, i want to feel the ease of getting that task out of the way, the sense of spaciousness and possibility. I want to acknowledge the work i've done on allergies and asthma: my breathing is clear and free[1] this morning. My mouth is not in discomfort[2]. My skin is mostly healthy and there are no visible issues. [3] I need to take time and effort to make these things be well, but it is effective.

I realize i WANT so much to not even have to worry about care. I feel a tension when i see all the hand washing flu prevention signs: getting my hands wet and using most cleansers aggravates my skin. I know what i need to do to stay sanitary, but those signs are reminders that i have to be intentional and aware. I want not to take all the supplements: i believe i have a well balanced diet. Lunch was lentils and hummus and beet greens. I eat fish, and live in a remarkably sunny location. I can keep going with the list of work i need to do to take care of myself. I muttered to my therapist N that everyone must have long lists, but she affirmed my experience. I do have a long list of things i need to do to take care of myself.

And i do do them as i find them.

It's hard to find the root of the voice that says i'm lazy and irresponsible. And maybe i really need to work in that place.

One of the reasons i understand depression develops is because of cognitive dissonance, experience and other's reactions not aligning. I've internalized some message about myself being lazy, sloppy, inattentive, self-preoccupied, self-centered. On Thursday, when i felt so awful, one of the first things that got through to me from my therapist was her statement that i was not NEGLIGENT.

I think i'm just getting the dissonance that is particularly problematic: if i don't do all the things to keep me well, the critical voice says i'm NEGLIGENT (never using that word, but it's so powerful to me). If i am doing all the things that keep me well, the critical voice says i'm SELFISH and SELF-CENTERED. The critical voice won't let me win.

And that's why i want a cure, something that will make my physical issues go away: because then i won't be selfishly caring for those issues.

Ah-ha.

OK, critical voice, we're going to have to chat.


[1] Except for the few inches in my nasal passage. I do wonder if i should have work done like my sister and brother. But, no, lets first see is nasal steroids do the trick. Can remember to take the stuff?

[2] No inflammation of the small ulcer in the back cheek and one on the side of my tongue.

[3] Ring finger has been sending up blisters, but i've been beating them back with the Clobetasol. There's some rough skin. Location A needs continued care, but again: it's not a discomfort that affects me as it used to. Just like watching for the blisters: i need to attend and it's not healed, but it's also not affecting me beyond the need for care.
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Thursday, October 7th, 2010 06:11 am
I don't remember when "I can't" became such a constant -- or even a possibility -- for me. As i was making tea this morning, i asked myself that and the first think i recalled was hiking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains near Santa Fe (probably the Pecos Wilderness). We hiked in for an overnight stay, and i sprained my knee somehow when hiking in. (We got caught in a hailstorm, and i assume the injury happened while i was chilled.) I was in a great deal of discomfort hiking out, but it was clear no one was going to send a helicopter to rescue me. So i just kept walking. The next weekend, despite the discomfort, i went ahead and played in an ultimate frisbee competition the best i could. (And got yelled at by a woman on another team for letting the guys take me out so often. Um, no, that's not it.)

That was right before graduate school, so "I can't" probably happened during grad school.

I was wondering this morning, because the sense of "I can't" i have this morning seems so young, so tender. Stories about me as a child are of an assertive, somewhat fearless child.

I wonder how much of that was the "parentless" child me taking as much care of my emotional needs as i could since my parents weren't. (Physically, i was cared for and protected. Neither was i neglected --but my brother probably was. I was, however, pulled into the adult emotional storm between my parents at a very young age.)

[personal profile] firecat shares a link to a book review of a series of articles on procrastination. [“The Thief of Time” (Oxford; $65)]. One could say my dawdling yesterday was procrastination, but i've grown more in touch with my fear in the past few years. I haven't realized how much was there, and i wonder about the little girl whose mother was so angry with her father and whose father seemed so conspiratorial in getting around what her mother wanted. I know she felt responsible, and did run away -- not far, not long, because she really was an obedient child even if she was constantly told she was not -- hoping that they would be happy without her.

So, in touch with the "i can't" and the sense of fear of destruction that lead to the "i can't", i read this paragraph and resonate:
Lack of confidence, sometimes alternating with unrealistic dreams of heroic success, often leads to procrastination, and many studies suggest that procrastinators are self-handicappers: rather than risk failure, they prefer to create conditions that make success impossible, a reflex that of course creates a vicious cycle. McClellan was also given to excessive planning, as if only the ideal battle plan were worth acting on. Procrastinators often succumb to this sort of perfectionism. [Read more]


The next chapter of that article describes the experience that i had during my youth, a clear sense of a divided self, of being a committee. My somewhat obsolete LJ bio points at the work i did during grad school's therapy on integration.

The same research, though, also suggests that most of us have a limited amount of will power and that it’s easily exhausted. In one famous study, people who had been asked to restrain themselves from readily available temptation—in this case, a pile of chocolate-chip cookies that they weren’t allowed to touch—had a harder time persisting in a difficult task than people who were allowed to eat the cookies.


I remember reading a brief blurb about that research and the sense of relief i felt. I know i use my will power to get through so much that i would like to just not do, it's a relief to find that if at the end of the day i can't make myself do laundry, it's not necessarily that i'm some lazy slattern. Thus my conflict about my work, my job. I motivate myself over and over: i will contact this person, i will make a decision, i will commit to a time line, i will explain this (despite uncertainty), i will... I know i need to start focusing on the pleasures and rewards to help. For example, i do enjoy coaching many of my staff, and i have a hesitant belief that i am effective there.

The end of the article begins with this observation:

The philosopher Mark Kingwell puts it in existential terms: “Procrastination most often arises from a sense that there is too much to do, and hence no single aspect of the to-do worth doing. . . . Underneath this rather antic form of action-as-inaction is the much more unsettling question whether anything is worth doing at all.”


It's a familiar one to me: this sort of questioning rises forth in my depression. Why bother. Why? So much action seems to be about holding off the inevitable contemplation of existence and extinction. My mother's long lists of must-dos were a bulwark against really being present. I don't doubt that was learned in some unpleasantness of her own childhood, and it certainly held back a certain type of discomfort durning my childhood. I can remember the sense of insight the holiday where i realized that when we had guests (almost always her extended family, very occasionally my Dad's mother) and my mother had extra to-dos on her list of what must be done, my parents argued less. Stirred into fevered activity from early dawn to late at night, my mother had no time to really reflect (but oh, i'm sure she obsessed in circles, as even now when i visit, she chats at me as she does things, and i can hear the thoughts rattling in the deep ruts).

I think over the eighteen years of my marriage Christine and i have done a great deal of carving away at unnecessary to-dos. "Just because everyone has turkey on Thanksgiving, why should we?" we asked, long before we were vegetarians. What Christine enjoyed and delighted in was a pizza (and actually that's more of a splurge than buying a turkey and roasting it). There are aspects of things we have chosen not to do that i am proud of, that i feel are freeing choices even if the difference creates a dissonance with the dominant society.

But then there's a sense of failure, of "i couldn't," of "i/we can't manage," and the "i can't" echo shows up. "I can't manage to set a day to do laundry and get it done." "I can't keep the floors clean." This "i can't" is a judging type voice, unlike the whimpering child i heard in my heart this morning crying "i can't." One echoes the other? A cycle?

Yesterday, i know i was struggling with the sense of impending doom, that there was something to be panicked about in the email from while i was on vacation, something i should have followed up on over the past weeks, something, something. That fear wouldn't allow a rational review, and each email seemed to call for some impossible task i'd have to work up my energy to do. (And i see now that if i zoomed through that task, i'd only be met with the mystery of the next email.)
Yesterday [personal profile] laughingrat offered to me the mantra, "OH NOES, A TIGER. RUN UP THE TREE!"


I can.


I can.


deep breath


I can.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, May 6th, 2010 07:21 am
So, yesterday i took it very easy. Much of Tuesday evening may be some asthma flare, but i'm now wondering about GERD. Can i have it without feeling much in the way of discomfort?

Christine assured me i was being reasonable taking the day so easy: it is a challenge because i know the behavioral expectations i was raised with is to work until you drop. I have recognized that those expectations are fallacious: one then drops for a much longer time than if one took the time to care for oneself. Unfortunately, i look at her family's behavioral expectations and read it as mollycoddling. Is this because my family expectations are so extreme that reasonable expectations are all distorted? It probably is, as i cannot for the life of me figure out where i would be "comfortable" except at the point of waiting until i drop.

So, i rested after the 11 am phone call, where i found myself muting the phone so folks wouldn't hear me panting. "Hmm, panting, i bet my lungs still aren't working very well."

I received an invitation and $100 from adwords.google.com to test setting up an adwords account. That was something i could piddle with as entertainment, and so i did. Christine has suggested making advertisements for causes, and i find myself uncomfortable making ads and pointing them to some organization's stuff. Somehow, the impression of "responsibility" seems misleading if my ad points to someone else's URL. I worry about stepping on the toes of someone who is working carefully to craft a message and promote the issue in an organization. i worry about board members getting irate: who knows if they decided not to get Google Ad Words or if they make final approval and it seems someone isn't following the process of the organization. If i promote a cause here, it's not coming from the official body, and that's clear. If i run an ad to an official organization's website.... Anyhow, Christine's goign to see if we can donate some of the $100 in impressions to some cause we care about. Best i can tell, the $100 will last forever advertising my creek blog postings.

I received the invitation because i am apparently a successful user of Google analytics. This is an interesting use of the word "successful" as i've not hooked my analytics account up to any page in my grey cat domain. http://yoast.com/wordpress/google-analytics/ is a plugin i could use: do i really care, though?

A FB friend suggested all her friends "look at Spokeo.com. A new online USA phonebook w/personal information: everything from pics to credit score, home value, income, age, etc. Remove yourself by first searching for yourself to find the URL of your page, then going to the Privacy button on the bottom of their page to remove yourself. Copy & repost so people are aware." The data is all poorly correlated. I'm linked to another "Elaine X Grey" whom i knew about when i lived in Philly because she had credit problems and i'd get her calls. She apparently lives in Latrobe, PA now and my web photo (the one i use here at facebook & everywhere else) is displayed for her. Oddly, my calendar was reminding me that it was time to get one of the three free credit reports per year, so i got Equifax, and it seemed pretty quiet.

I continued with my reading about the Gulf Oil spill, particularly the naturally occurring oil seeps [image]. I also contributed to the San Francisco Save the Bay's recommendation of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.
About CA proposition 14 and others )

In a fit of utter silliness, i bought my Mom a http://www.mouthman.com/ [Warning: auto sound, can turn off player at bottom of page] t-shirt of an alligator. Mother alligators are somewhat remarkable, and she went to the University of Florida. I can imagine her playing with her grandkids while wearing it.

In the very late afternoon, after a nap, i went back to my work computer and banged out an analysis that i've needed to do but had been triggering some overwhelm. I could have taken all afternoon to do it in my procrastination state and been miserable. I know there's a lesson here: i'm not entirely sure what it is.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 07:19 am
One last post.

My brother replied
I am an unfocused disorganized procrastinator and I owe my station in life to luck smoke and mirrors.

Sounds very familiar. It plays out in my own life because I turn to putty when the adrenaline subsides and "tough week, I am tired" is not a valid plea (in my case because my spouse has a more complicated professional and parental workload and is actually more focused and efficient than I am and my procratination actually increases her probs).


Things i did well yesterday: I acknowledged the dread i was feeling as i faced an afternoon where i could get something done. I did not beat myself up. I wish i could have gone closer to my fears and negative feelings, but perhaps that was for the best (as the insight this morning was novel). I did the laundry, rode the exercise bike, and piddled a bit with genealogy. That is, i gave myself alternative places to make progress and "get things done" and be proud of myself, even if i didn't do what i was supposed to do.

Oh, [livejournal.com profile] lola_kristine, Wallander has KENNETH BRANAGH as a main character. Who cares if it's not a quirky as Wire in the Blood?! (PS: thanks for the reference, we enjoyed the first episode last night. Nice to see the Swedish landscape, too!)

This morning just before i awakened i was dreaming about folding myself double and breathing to escape my fear and dread, something i actually do at my desk (bend forward, head down, breathe, try to relax...). I woke and realized a few things:

* i can't/won't visualize myself smoothly succeeding at something. There's this barrier -- drama, trauma, struggle -- that immediately overlays any "i should do" with a sense of futility and impossibility. The sense of self sabotage sits there as an inevitable companion.

* that's when i "clicked" with that inevitable companion being the memory of my parents fighting.

* i have this urge to hire a coach or therapist to work with me on this, but i simultaneously begin building impossible criteria (they'll have to under stand my depression, and they have to be able to work with me around the pain i feel about my family, and ...) and suspecting i want someone to fight with about whatever i'm procrastinating on. Working on procrastination seems suspiciously like procrastinating. Mindgames. Hmm.

* i cry a little bit, feeling the pent up grief of my childhood, a different grief than the one around wishing for archtypical Mother, but this grief around my parents' dynamic, my dad's conflicting wants -- "I only have N weekends left in my life," he'd say, probably when he was my age or a little younger, "I want to spend them fishing not doing this." And he'd spin his story of being frustrated about how much stuff Mom has and wanting to live in a shack in the woods eating out of a tin can with just one spoon to wash.

Dad did teach me about TCO at an early age. (TCO: total cost of ownership.)

Not sure what's next. Just writing this all this morning is keeping me from engaging on the prep for the 11 am meeting (there's one at 10, as well).

Fail flail! Invest so much energy in the fail-flail-adrenalenine rush that the long empty afternoon becomes yet another battleground for fail-flail!
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 06:47 am
An email to my siblings:

I'm coming out of a four months depression (essentially) and am getting back to my better self -- which means having some problems with procrastination. I had some insights this morning as i was thinking about my experience yesterday, and wanted to know if you experienced this growing up (and if it plays out for you).

Yesterday i had a "free" afternoon. I would be able to "get something done," and there are certainly long overdue things that needed to go done (*cough*the barn*cough*). My experience of procrastination certainly has some sense of dread, and what i realize this morning is that i have a hard time remembering a weekend when, as there was nothing else planned, our family moved on to working on a project all day-ish and was happily successful at the end of the day. What i remember would be that there would be fights in the morning, that eroded into the "productive" time of the day, that things would get done by the end of the day but there wasn't some glowing sense of successfully having done what planned, but a lingering frustration and failure.

I feel i've internalized Mom and Dad's fights before working on a project.

I'm not asking if you feel like you've done that or if you have procrastination problems, but do you remember the pattern of planning to do something, fighting, and then getting something (else) done, but not carrying through on the plans?

My guess about their dynamics is that Dad, having completed a work week of getting things done (invisible to Mom) was not ready to continue with the getting things done and was sabotaging the plans (probably because an honest statement of "I'm tired, it was a hard week," was unacceptable).

Sound familiar? Or is this selective memory on my part? I suppose it's the memory & lessons i've got, no matter what *yours* are, but i have a layer of grad school depression and procrastination that i'm currently disregarding.

Thanks for listening,

[your sister]