Blaugust 24: The Unknown


August is disappearing fast, and I do not know how I feel about this. There’s good and bad aspects I guess.

I have a tendency to start thinking too far ahead sometimes, and right now what’s on my mind but the fact that there is only one week left of Blaugust. Now, I don’t have a strong emotional attachment or anything, but I can’t help wondering what is going to happen when it’s over.

Will I keep blogging regularly? Will I write something every day? Will I make “Blogtember”? (Don’t worry, if I blog ever day in September I’ll do it without a silly name.)

Will I fall off the wagon, as it were, and stop writing again? Will I feel too discouraged knowing that most of the posts I’ve done this month are actually pretty bad?

Will I wait until I have something to say AND a better notion of how to say it?

What am I going to do? Should I just remove myself from blogging life entirely, stop doing it because it’s clear that I’ll NEVER make money this way? (Not that I think it’s only worth it if I end up making money, I just don’t understand why I haven’t qualified for adsense yet. So I have a smaller following than most blogs that make money–that just means it will take longer to reach a payout. Doesn’t that make it BETTER for them? Because they’re paying me less? …Yeah so clearly I don’t get how that works.)

I’m also wondering how the remaining week will go. I thought that by now I would have cleared out some of my overcrowded thoughts and reached at least one gem that other people could relate to, but I’ve been so stressed that more of the pointless thoughts, the ones that if I were actually editing I would just cut out, keep piling on. My brain is STILL so overwhelmed that it goes blank in the middle of writing. I have momentum, but I stop to think for a second, and whatever path the post might have taken took a sharp turn and then just starts looping on itself.

That is what has happened just now, so I guess I’ll end things here without a proper conclusion. Tell me what you think I’m going to do at the end of this month-long experiment.

Blaugust 23: Then, A Nap


Although I woke up later than I wanted today, I started off with what should have been plenty of time. Then, I proceeded to waste the rest of the morning and left to do errands around noon. I was gone for several hours and should have started working when I got home.

But I was tired.

So I took a nap.

The nap was only about an hour. But then I checked my email and poked around the evil black hole of Facebook for a while. Before I knew it, it was nearly seven in the evening and I had to make something for dinner.

By the time I finished eating, it was almost seven thirty. I set my plate aside and finally started working. By then, though, I was stuck in an internet loop of Netflix, Facebook notifications, and checking my email every ten minutes. So I’ve only gotten through a little bit of my work today. It’s mainly due to stress, which builds up so much sometimes that actually working becomes nearly impossible. Unfortunately, the deadlines and the bill pay dates don’t change in accordance, so it just causes MORE stress.

And that is how you waste a day being barely productive. I hope this was an informative, instructional post for you.

Blaugust 22: NEVER STOP


There is danger in taking a break, especially if you’re feeling overtired.

If you are like me, you’ll prefer, as opposed to going straight from one job into the next, to take a little time to relax. Maybe you read some leisure articles on the internet. Maybe you scroll through facebook a few times. Or watch an episode of a thing.

Maybe then you feel really sleepy, so you lay down to take a nap for a little while. At that point it’s already been nearly two hours, and the nap adds another hour onto that.

Then it’s starting to get kind of late, and you haven’t decided what to eat for dinner. You don’t really have time to make anything because you took such a long break that you need to spend pretty much every remaining moment of the day working.

So, while you intended to take a short break and be back to working within an hour, instead you took over three hours and now, you’re stressed out over how much you can actually get done. How late will you have to stay up to get the work done that you need to? Or, how much will you be able to do before you get too tired to concentrate?

This is me at the moment. Having gotten stuck in a long cycle of procrastination and then bursts of nonstop work to make up for it, and trying finally to resist this cycle by NOT procrastinating again, I’ve been in a sort of nonstop work phase. I took a break from work for half the weekend, but the break was full of obnoxious train travel and social plans, and so I still find myself very, very tired.

The plan was (and still is) to keep doing the work I need to do, working straight through until I finish (which will likely be sometime between Wednesday midday and Thursday morning), and then finally take a real break from editing type work until next week. In the meantime, I also have the regular shifts at my retail job, and I’ll be there all day on Sunday.

Working harder in the short term is all in the service of getting my adult life on track (I would have said “back” on track but, really, was it ever?)–dealing with debt, finally having a savings account again, and actually getting ahead of my bills for the first time in a loooong time. And this plan always seems like something that should be simple enough to do. Just keep working. Not complicated, right?

Well. Sometimes, it turns out to be extremely draining. So you try to take a short break, but you end up losing precious time to the vast vacuum of the Internet. You look back and know that you didn’t do anything with that time that you’ll ever even remember. And maybe you regret it. And then you lose more time thinking about all the time you lost…

Bad plan.

At that point, you just get back to what you were doing and you get as focused as you can. Which is my plan for right now.

 

Blaugust 21: More Random Thoughts


So, today was long and busy…

Tomorrow will be long and busy…

I ate lots of food and probably didn’t sleep enough.

I got rid of even more books, some of which I really liked. But I’m in the very long process of decluttering. It happens in stages, sometimes getting rid of large amounts of things and sometimes just a small handful. Either way, it feels good to get rid of things I really just don’t need to keep.

And the best part of the day has to be seeing the dog. She’s such a funny old lady.

It’s late and I can’t think of a topic to write about. I just barely remembered that I still had to post. So today you get basic. Super basic.

I’m really looking forward to fall.

Blah.

The end.

Blaugust 20: Salmon and Asparagus Pouch


I’ve been so productive today! I did this on purpose because I have social plans that will not leave me time to be productive this evening or tomorrow. I actually forced myself to get up before 9 today to have a good chunk of time to get work done.

After that, I made myself a tasty and easy lunch that, of course, is healthy too! And pretty.

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Lunch, meet world.

It was ridiculously easy to make. I put all the food in a little aluminum foil pouch, covered in olive oil, with Herbs de Provence sprinkled on the salmon. Using the cooking instructions from the salmon’s packaging, I cooked it for a while at 425.

I wasn’t paying close attention to the timing. I might have taken it out some than they instruct, or left it a little longer. I really don’t know. In any case, it was all cooked perfectly!

The asparagus was perfectly tender and slightly roast-y.  The salmon was just right, fully cooked but still most and such a nice pink that I almost took ANOTHER picture. I didn’t though…

So, a healthy meal that takes very little preparation, not much time, and is pretty filling? Yes, I’d definitely make this again. Other vegetables can be subbed in too, but you have to make sure it’s not something that takes longer than the fish to cook to the desired level.

If you were going to do something like this, what vegetables would you use? What would you eat for a side? Would you never, ever eat this because your taste buds are broken? Discuss.

Blaugust 19: I’m So Tired


Ever since I’ve come back from work today (retail work: I have been doing editing work in short bursts since then), aside from some brief stretches of alertness, I have barely been able to keep my eyes open. I’m sleepy as hell because I’ve been waking up earlier than usual but still staying up kind of late. My neck is stiff.

Now, being back in a space without air conditioning (sigh), I’m not sure how well I’m going to sleep. Since I have a lot I want to get done tomorrow before I head off for a fun night of debauchery, aka playing rock band, I will have to wake up early again. AND I don’t even know if I have any coffee…

I forgot to check.

I FORGOT TO CHECK FOR COFFEE.

What is my life?

Coffee is everything. Coffee is perfection. How could I not think of it? And now it’s going to be mad. What have I done? I’ve angered the coffee.

You can tell I’m tired, because clearly my filter is gone.

Blaugust 18: Do or Do Not. There Is No Try


Yoda was a wise old Jedi.

 

I’ve been thinking about my (lack of) workout routine today. Very few people reading this (just one or two, probably) will know that there was a time I used to work out nearly every day. I didn’t do super intensive workouts, just enough to get my heart rate up and work up a bit of a sweat. Generally, this consisted of yoga and bodyweight/dumbbell exercises, no gym required, just the decision to do it.

(Related: I once trekked home from City Sport carrying twenty pounds of weights that almost ripped through a reusable grocery bag. My shoulders were just a little sore when I got home…)

I honestly can’t say why I stopped, but at some point I just started NOT working out more often than I did. From time to time I would try to get back into the habit in small steps. “Just start by doing ten push-ups every day this week. That’s not too hard.”

Or, it shouldn’t have been. But I’d do it for the first two days. Then the third day I just didn’t feel like it. The next day, I completely forgot about it. Two days later I did the push-ups again, but gave up shortly. This sort of story (with different activities–a little bit of planking, a few sets of squats) happened a few times. Each time it just didn’t work.

I tried using this “start with a little bit” method of getting into the habit of working out because I read the advice in several articles. I can only say that for me, this does not work. It’s too small of a commitment. The time and exertion that actually goes into it is negligible. It feel pointless to do it, and utterly unimportant if you miss a day. I’ll just do them tomorrow! Except no, I won’t, because tomorrow five to ten minutes of working out will still seem too dumb to bother with.

The workout will not actually affect how I feel unless it’s at least thirty minutes (twenty can work, but only if I really do it every single day). Gotta get the heart rate up. Get the endorphins going. I need to work in a “real” workout or I just won’t feel any point to it.

I type all this out in the hope that verbalizing this issue I’ve been having (and the solution I’ve come up with) will push me a little more toward actually doing something, rather than just thinking about it.

What do you think?

 

Blaugust 17: Dogs Are Better Than Alarm Clocks


As I’m house sitting, I’ve been waking up much earlier than I usually would because the dog comes and whines for me to get up a little before 7 most days. I generally don’t have to wake up that early, so I almost never do. But once she’s woken me up, I find it much harder to go back to sleep (especially since I tend to have to pee also).

I have also noticed that waking up that early means that I start working much, much sooner. I often need a few hours to get to a point where I can function, so when I wake up late, my work day starts late. Late enough that I have to stay up very late working to make up for it. And my sleep schedule suffers even more.

This is the kind of thing one should hesitate to put on the internet. Admitting that you manage your time badly? A potential employer might read that! So I also feel the need to add: I can get things done quickly when I really have to. I can laser-focus and just Get. Things. Done. However, most of the things I have to do (i.e. adult tasks), I find frustrating or honestly unnecessary, except for the unfortunate desire to function in society. So it’s hard to feel motivated most of the time.

It’s something I need to work on more, I know. It’s a little better these days, but I will wait before I claim to actually be generally organized and efficient.

And I’ll end with this quote that amused me:

“We’re having banana pancakes for breakfast today.”

“I like pancakes.”

…”We’re all gonna die.”

Blaugust 16: The Random Thoughts


Half the month of August just cannot be over. I mean, it’s not fair! I have SO much to get done! (I know, that’s my fault. If I were better at being an adult and actually getting things done, I would not end up with such immense to-do lists. I continually have too much faith in my ability to actually do the thing the second time it comes up–as opposed to the tenth time. Once in a while I make a conscious decision to work on this habit, but then I put it off until the next day… what I’m saying is, I am the champion of procrastination.)

Today turned out to be terribly inconvenient. I started work early, but unfortunately had more left to do than I thought. So, after a few hours when there was an issue with the power and internet, I had to trek out somewhere to finish up the work and send it to the appropriate recipient. I’ve been sitting in a coffee shop for over two hours now. That’s a long time for me these days… in the end it worked out ok, but it would have been so much easier if everything just worked in the place where I started. The interruption just makes things more difficult.

I wish I had news to share. The only thing I can think of is that yesterday, when I posted all about what I ate that day, I had many more likes on the post than the previous few days, where I had NO post likes on my random musings. Sometimes, when I want to write a post but have no good topic ideas, I write about some random thought I have. And no one, it seems, gives a shit about those…

Of course, to me a blog is for just that. It’s for posting whatever random crap you want. If you start posting only on certain topics or spending hours crafting a post, it’s not a blog anymore. It’s an internet publication. It’s a fancy, official thing that then needs to be monitored and edited frequently.

Call me crazy, but I have always liked blogging the random thoughts in my head. And I’m probably going to keep doing it. But if I never get any likes on those posts, I don’t want to post them. Blogging has become a strange thing–even if you aren’t doing it professionally, you find yourself feeling somewhat competitive about them. “I write better than what they post on THAT blog, why do they get to make money from it?” And other thoughts like that.

This has gotten very rambly and I’m not sure where it’s going, but I need to pack up and get back home now.

Blaugust 15: How I Ate For Cheap


Today I paid a sad amount of money for a yogurt parfait (possibly the most overpriced prepared item at any store…) and a kind bar for breakfast. I had put off getting groceries so I didn’t really have much around to eat. I wanted something simple, but the best quality egg sandwich around here is also a little bit too expensive for my preferences. It’s a bit of a regret but it tasted fine, and it’s done now.

I made up for it afterward by getting lunch and dinner for free. I had a “buy ten sandwiches get one free” punch card that I’d filled up. Ok, actually I think it’s twelve, and since I kept forgetting to get it punched, I probably bought around twice as many to get the free one. However, it was no money paid today. I left a small tip and that’s it.

For dinner, since there is a Panera near the grocery store, I decided to use some of a gift card I have and I got a salad and, probably negating the health of the salad, a chai latte. At least the crazy air conditioning habits of every single business out there allow me to drink a hot beverage in the summer without dying.

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Both lunch and dinner were good, but not great. I didn’t order my very favorite sandwich because I was in the mood for a different kind today. The sandwich I chose was quite satisfying, but not as delicious as either of the two I tend to buy for myself. As for dinner, I liked the chai more than the salad, and to be honest I wasn’t too hungry so I probably could have just stuck with the chai… trying to get some more nutrients for dinner and all that.

Groceries were a whole different story this week. I am currently dog-sitting (for a very cute beagle with some weird habits, as I am certain all pets have), and the house is in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation. This means that there IS no kitchen. Instead, there are pieces of a kitchen here, there, out on the porch. Literally, the toaster oven is out there. I haven’t used it yet… going outside to cook seems strange to me.

So, my grocery goals today were: cheap, healthy, and no cooking necessary. What does a grocery haul look like when you know you won’t be able to cook? Pretty simple. Prepared chicken (the grilled chicken strips from Trader Joe’s. Probably every grocery store you go to, unless it’s a tiny, specialty store of some kind, will have a variety of prepared chicken), baby spinach, avocado to use with some of the things that are already around for salads and wraps, and a few bananas and greek yogurts for breakfast. I can eat the same few things on repeat for the next several days… but then I’m going to need something different. Still trying to keep it healthy, but my taste buds could use a thrill.

I really need to figure out some healthier foods for that need to treat yo self.

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