Just a little (link) love: Sneezy Hedgehogs Edition

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This time last yearWe have a renter

5 years ago: Delaying dental care is a bad, expensive, idea

CAREER + MONEY THINGS

I love this NYC real estate co-op idea, we should do this in SF!

Crystal shared the finances of a polyamorous relationship

Like Lazy Man, we need to make some decisions about saving and investing for LB

Older women in the workplace: YES. And where I lack these role models, I look for them in my own life outside of work.

I’m usually a little more in touch with these things but I just read about Alice Dreger’s resignation and kudos to her for having the (financial) ability and the spine to stand up for her beliefs. Not everyone can, but it would be a great thing if all of us were equipped to do an Alice Dreger if we had to.

FUN THINGS

I laughed but that poor bear

…psychologists from the University of Virginia quizzed college students about their geographical preferences and found that introverts prefer the mountains while extroverts prefer the ocean.”  T/F, readers? I’m an introvert but prefer the ocean.

LET CIARA LIVE. May she Matrix backbend on all her haters. I don’t even know the players involved in this and I don’t need to. Luvvie’s writing style has me in stitches and she is absolutely right about the double standard sexism happening here.

This … actually does describe babies.

INTERESTING THINGS

Surprise: these white males are overwhelmingly condescending and jerkish when they think you’re wrong and a woman. Who would have guessed. Oh right. We all knew that.

This teen’s actions brought tears to my eyes. Smart, calm, and careful and saved a woman.

A life after Katrina

War veterans: Moral injury and Souls in Anguish

Epigenetics study focuses on Holocaust survivors and their children

This judge also deserves 28 lashes

Stopping drunk driving has a lot more to do with stopping the drinking than the driving

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I suck at moderation

Chronic

Status: Flattened, with feet up. It’s the only way I can write, with the few still-functional fingers, when my hands, arms, shoulders, and back are racetracks for searing, electro-shock variety pain. After etching grooves deep in my bones, the pain creates a fatigue swamp, literally knocking me out for a few hours. By Day 5, staying conscious is an accomplishment.  I spent Days 1 and 2 waking up from that haze wondering what the heck time it is and when I passed out.

Looks like I overdid it. Or maybe it was all due to fall apart right about now. I’m not sure. Navigating that balance between doing what you “can” but not taking on too much is like blindfolding yourself, spinning in circles, then trying to unlock the master lock of a door with ten identical knobs. With a toothpick. It’s a crapshoot. There are no reliable signals to follow.

Add to that, moderation was always a special sort of hell for me.

I want to do more. I know I shouldn’t actually do it but I always want to do more and usually telling me “you can’t” is like pitching a lit match into a hay bale and saying don’t burn. Before my pain became chronic, pushing myself was a treat.

When I walk a quarter of a mile, I want that next quarter. If I run a half, I want another half. That was how I worked up to my first mile under 8 minutes, was how I competed in my chosen sports, was how I fought my way up, professionally. I still remember learning about building stamina from my first great P.E. teacher. Youth was on my side back then too, but the regimen was sound. Performing exercise to failure (also known as: until you can no longer maintain perfect form) was the first of many steps to building strength and endurance.

“No pain, no gain” was my actual motto. Fool.

My body doesn’t respond to that tearing down of muscles the same way anymore. It doesn’t work normally anymore. It stopped being normal half a lifetime ago.

I was never a quick study, though heaven help me, I’m some kind of stubborn. At first, the trade-off for pushing through, even if only by 15 or 20 minutes, was “only” days of crippling pain. Later on, crushing fatigue joined the party. An afternoon running errands cost two days of bed rest. A couple hours of exercise cost a week of mobility. Three weeks, once, when I was particularly boneheaded. If -no, when- I challenge myself, push myself just another eighth of a mile, just another five minutes, “just another” crashes down around my ears. It becomes a choice to sacrifice all other life activities like feeding myself or bathing. It should have been obvious, but it still took more than a decade before I accepted it.

Having accepted that fact, now, it’s a whole other struggle.

It’s battling my own instincts to get up and get out because to do otherwise is lazy except that to do so is to hamstring myself because I’m down to my last Energon Cube. It’s trying to parse the muddled and confusing signals correctly so that I don’t cross the line, but “stay active!” How do you tell when enough is enough if sometimes you’re feeling as close to fine as I get, don’t feel like you’re overexerting, but only crash the moment you stop moving? What do I go on, if I can’t trust how I feel?

To make things even more confusing, once every several months or so, for a couple hours it’s like the sun is shining on me. I have energy and only medium pain, the fatigue has backed off and I’m like unto a Tiny God of Getting Shit Done. For those brief magical hours, anything seems possible. That’s not today’s problem though.

Aragorn

As usual, I’m not the only one who’s had a rough few days. Abby has, as have a few other friends. I call a do-over on a crappy wasted weekend!

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Doing #1GoodMoneyThing a day

MoneyThingI’ve been a little complacent about money lately. I don’t track our expenses down the penny like I used to. I pay our bills twice a month, some of them are automated, and that’s good. This saves precious time.

But! There’s room for improvement. (There always is.) And there’s always too much to do. So rather than waiting until I have a lot of time, I’m going to do a little money thing everyday. I’ll tweet it under the hashtag #1GoodMoneyThing and I’ll also share it here.

What’s a good money thing?

Almost anything that involves your money, in a good way! Simple as that. Doesn’t have to be a great grand event, doesn’t have to take hours. Heck, I’ll even include anything that’s good for your health since money means squat if you’ve got one foot in the grave!

Saturday: I started up researching refinance options again. Our mortgage is currently financed at 4.8% and that’s pretty high, but we’ve had problems getting any bank to touch the loan because of some HOA shenanigans.  Time spent: 1 hour.

Sunday: Via customer service chat, I added PiC as an authorized user on our phone plan so that if I am suddenly incapacitated or I croak, he can manage the account. Time spent: 3 minutes.

Care to join me?

It’ll be fun! I’m going to try this for a month, and then maybe weekly. We can give each other ideas. Comment here or use the hashtag so I can add your updates to future posts!

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TGIF: Summer Edition

Friday1


This is a bit of a brain dump.

It’s Friday and on the one hand, holy crap, what have I gotten done this week?? I made it through 4 week days with unusual probably fibro-related brain fog and 4 bouts of my glucose levels bottoming out leaving me shaky, dizzy, and almost gasping for breath.  Got some work done. Didn’t get any of my real writing done.

On the other hand, THANK GOODNESS it’s Friday.

I am grateful beyond measure for Fridays right now. This level of relief’s normally the sign to quit my job and move on, most people TGIF because work is so very onerous, but that’s not precisely my problem. I am at odds with my job, it’s true, but it’s manageable even when I take on too much. Usually I just power – or muddle – through but it takes more of a toll some weeks than others. This week more than last. Frazzled is not usually my thing and it’s usually a sign that something is twirling off the axis.

It’s the short break from being Juggler and Timekeeper Extraordinaire that I crave. There’s a sense, during the week, that every single minute has to be used wisely. During naps, between naps, I have to be Getting Everything Done. That go-go-go feeling is draining.

On the weekend, it’s ok to clock out of Mom duty and hand the Adorable Creeper over for a break. We can take turns, it’s not just a hamster wheel of work / child / housework / child / work / child / housework.

We didn’t do much on our weekends, in the pre-LB era, except when we did too much. I like that our weekends are a little more even keeled now. I like that I actually want to take small outings occasionally. It makes me feel human again. We went to the Ferry Building and you all know how much I love doing that. We might even go so far as to take the family to a little farm and meet farm animals. For FUN.

My days, since last month, are a little less hectic than before but they remain nonstop. LB needs a third nap now and that’s great. I get quite a lot done during naps and late into the evening but I haven’t made the time to work on my extracurricular projects as much as I ought to. I need to do more writing. A LOT more writing. I need to test some business ideas and determine my next steps after this job is over.

I do have time but it happens in bits and pieces so it’s not useful for tackling the bigger chunks of either project. The trick will be to figure out how to smush those bits together to make a usable large chunk, like the ends of soap. Until then, my anti-stress mechanism is, as always, planning so that’s where my little time chunks go. I research our next trip, our next investment, our next credit card.

Under the good news column, PiC insisted that I take some real me time, and I caved. So I’ll do that.

Also, I stretched out of my comfort zone agreeing to do an interview on Jessica’s podcast. It won’t come out for a while yet so now I have far too much time to think about how silly I sounded, or how much I rambled, or any number of things.

I blinked and it’s near the end of August. Did anyone see that coming? Before you know it, we’ll be into Fall. And into my birthmonth! I might take a leaf from a good friend’s book and celebrate all month. Low key, but all month, in little ways. Because why not?

Summer is winding down, are you planning any last hurrahs before fall rolls in?

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