Friday Chicken #8. I see a pattern forming.

So, yeah. It’s not Friday, it’s Monday. I am chocking it up to being out of town again (Boise! See below), but it’s suspiciously beginning to look like a bad habit forming. I don’t feel altogether bad about it – I am definitely paying attention to my limits more often these days, which is sort of the point of this whole exercise. Now, on to the exercise….

The Hard Stuff

A case of the Mondays, yikes. Last week started off with, woah, tons of anger and anxiety. I’m not sure where it came from – likely trying to catch up from anything that didn’t happen while I was in Austin. Tuesday wasn’t much better, but thankfully, things improved after that.

Rain –> allergies. All of the non-native plants explode with pollen in the fall here, bringing worse allergies than I’ve had anywhere else. Unfortunately, I get nasty side effects (bloody noses, etc.) from any of the non-drowsy allergy medicines available. Last year I made do with a half-dose of Zyrtec. We’ll see how this season progresses; so far it’s…tolerable.

The Good Stuff

Happy birthday, Grandma Rosie! She turns 86 (!) this week, and it had been too long since I’d seen her, so I flew up to Boise for a quick trip over the weekend. I spent a few hours with her on Saturday, talking about all manner of things, having tea and gingersnaps. Delightful. Throw in time spent with uncles, cousins, second cousins, tasty local noms, soccer spectating, miles of walking under Autumn skies, working with her embroidery machine, doing some heavy duty sewing, and beer, and it was altogether a wonderful weekend (up until the weather-delayed return flights, but that’s old hat for me now). She inspired me so much I did some research on and found a perfect beginner sewing machine to get me started.

Beyond the stressful times, work is happening. Things are getting done. Unfortunately I can’t talk about it beyond that, but at least while things are stressful, they are moving forward well. It feels good, when I can step back from theohmygodthemilestoneiscoming feelings.

Objectives Quests!

Blegh. Objectives sounds so cold and business-like, but I really do want to add a section for looking forward to next week. I need a list.

I’m not going out of town this week, hooray! You know what is happening? My parents will be here overnight. And my aunt and uncle. At the same time. I love them all to pieces, and especially since I don’t live near my folks anymore, they are completely welcome to visit. Visitors, though, are stressful no matter how much you want them. The coming days will be a balancing act between being productive at work, tidying up a bit (just enough) around the house, and getting in my alone-time to eat well, move my body, and make things.

It seems at once like so little and so much work – but you know what? I can totally handle it. Everything may not get finished, but if the intention is there, that is plenty.

Friday Chicken #9. Or just regular chicken.

The Hard Stuff

So, I had a draft of this blog post up on Friday, but got swamped with work just enough that it didn’t get finished. So hey, the weekend happened! I’ll just leave this weeks’ Hard as busy, busy, busy.

Oh, and allergies. Weather-changey-rific suckification. I am back on Zyrtec, watching my fluids, and even pulled out the humidifier today. Here’s hoping this passes quickly this year.

The Good Stuff

Visitors! Friday night my parents, aunt and uncle dropped by and stayed overnight on their voyage from Boise to Palm Desert. We all had dinner, then Saturday morning my aunt and uncle took off early so I could have some extra time with my folks. After brunch, I took them to my absolute favorite place in Vegas – Red Rock Canyon. We toured the visitor center and then drove the 13-mile scenic loop before they had to take off as well.

Objectives Quests!

Blegh. Objectives sounds so cold and business-like, but I really do want to add a section for looking forward to next week. I need a list.

Update on last week: Work productivity? Check. Housecleaning? Check. Movement? Not so much. Today, when I was planning on definitely going to ballet class, a) I needed to prioritize work over fun, and b) I was so dizzy from allergies I didn’t even get that far. Sofa work instead, whee!

So this week, I absolutely need to get off my butt. In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this, I’m gonna sew up my pointe shoes and pack my stuff for tomorrow. Just in case I can leave work before 7. Then I have to block a big knitting project that’s been sitting there finished for a couple of weeks. Then I’m definitely going to bed before midnight.

The Boy will be here Thursday! Halloween Sunday! Good things to come. Need to prioritize.

Friday Chicken #10! On Friday!

The Hard Stuff

Hooey, busy still. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I think it’ll be somewhere around Thanksgiving, but like always in this industry, there’s always a new busy waiting. Still can’t talk about stuff, but it is the source of most of my stress these days.

Too much produce? I didn’t think this was possible – but I so seldom eat at home these days, and when I do it’s more often than not a sandwich or some cereal, *maybe* a stir fry, that I’m not getting close to using up all my CSA food that comes each week. It makes me sad, because it looks delicious, but inside I’m all, “seriously?!?! Another melon?!? More eggplants/okra/beets?!?!” Delicious normally, but way too time- and thought-consuming for me to fit it in right now.

Jake. He was my cat for a large part of my adolescence – we got some kittens right before I went into high school in 19<<mumbles>>, and his royal orange cuteness was the one who attached to me. Jakey No Bones. Jake the Jell-o Cat. He slept with me every night, and when I went away to college, he would meet me at my car when he heard it pull up every few weeks. My dad called and told me he passed away this week, at the ripe old age of 18. I’m sad, but it was definitely his time. I know he’s comfortable wherever he is right now. If nothing else, it’s bringing me closer to my current furbabies.

Sewing. I recently started sewing thanks to a some tips from the TextBookMommy blog. The post was about saving money in everyday life and mentioned sewing as a way to make or re-purpose your existing waredrobe.

The Good Stuff

Visitors! I’ll just keep this headline up from last week, because The Boy is here right now. Sitting across from me, even!

Anticipation! Sunday is Halloween. Next Wednesday is my <<mumbles>> birthday!!

Weather! Fall weather, that is! After about a week of rain, thunderstorms, and even a bit of hail, Vegas seems to have settled into it’s chilly Fall pattern. Sweater weather, yum!

OMG Ballet! I did as I said I would last week and sewed up my new pointe shoes, then actually cut out of work on time to go to class on Monday night. My calves are still smarting a bit, but it was wonderful in every way!

Objectives Quests!

Blegh. Objectives sounds so cold and business-like, but I really do want to add a section for looking forward to next week. I need a list.

So, I still have to finish that big knitting project – but it is AL. MOST. DONE. Can’t wait to show you! Otherwise, my list looks like this:

  • Do Halloween stuff. Fright Dome!
  • Have some dates with The Boy. Not the food kind, the going-out-together kind.
  • Don’t freak out.
  • Laundry. Always.
  • Get tickets home for Christmas.
  • Move!
  • Make!
  • Love it all! And if you don’t love it, really evaluate if you need to do it at all.

Friday Chicken #11. Still not good at this.

The Hard Stuff

The work. It just. keeps. going. It’s not going to let up until after the first week of December – there’s nothing I can do about it, except keep going. The thing that makes it difficult is that I have to keep switching between Producer Sarah, Programmer Sarah and Designer Sarah. I like wearing different hats – but trying to juggle all three at the same time is pretty tiring. Such is life at a software startup, ya?

Still fighting the blues. This will be obvious to those who pay attention, but I missed last week’s Chicken. I felt really bad about it, but still watched the weekend fly by without updating.

Here’s how it went down. Friday I was way too occupied at work to take a break and write the thing. Saturday I was in and out of the house so much I still couldn’t take the time. Sunday? Well, let’s just say I didn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t. Between allergies, stress/depression, feeling generally crappy from not having myself-time, and the lure of The Deathly Hallows, I just couldn’t bring myself to face the day until it was starting to get dark.

To be fair, I did do a lot of reflecting. I just didn’t want to write it down. It took another week for me to be okay enough with the fact that I stayed in bed for an entire day, to be able to actually talk about it. What a crappy week I had to have it come to this. (This last week, after said stay-in-bed day, was better.)

The Good Stuff

This week, nothing really good happened. It didn’t suck, but there were no moments of awesome. Last week, though? Before the blahs hit?

Birthday, yeahhhh! I’m 32 now. Got all sorts of noms bought for me, which if you know me at all, you know is a very good thing.

Mao’s Last Dancer. It’s fantastic. I saw it with Jamie on Saturday, and my eyes were glued to the screen. Most of you won’t get this, but double back cabrioles? Holy business, I love it! Pretty okay story, too.

Halloween! and Your San Francisco Giants! I didn’t totally participate in either of these things, but I enjoyed being around them. It’s good to see other people being happy and having fun. It brightens everything, as long as they don’t get belligerently drunk (like tends to happen here in Vegas). I mostly avoided the bad parts.

Oh my gawd you guys, do you know what I finished?? I won’t tell you until next week. But it’s awesome. Anticipate!

Objectives Quests!

Blegh. Objectives sounds so cold and business-like, but I really do want to add a section for looking forward to next week. I need a list.

I totally failed at not freaking out. Looking at my list, it would be easy to blame a birthday, but I don’t think that was it. I think it had to do more with too much of everything, and not listening to when my body said enough is enough. I’m still not good at it, but I know it’ll just take practice.

My next quest looks like this:

  • Relax.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  • Dance. Move. Flail. Run. Stretch. Breathe. Not all at once.

Stuff will get done, and no matter how far away the goal seems, I will feel like I have been productive.

Friday Chicken #12. I am a bouncing ball.

The Hard Stuff

So, Monday Happened. Hoo boy, all the things I was holding in from last week came out on Monday. I was full of anger and shame, which is not a good combination ever, let alone when you are trying to ship a game with a group of also-tired people. Near the end of the day I had a nice one-on-one with my boss, then I had dinner (read: wine) with the fabulous Angela, and the bounce happened. I had expunged my stress, and could finally let it go. Thank God, that sucked balls.

Sleep patterns are holding. I Facebook’d a little while back that I’d come to the realization that it’s pretty unbecoming for a 32-year-old to hit snooze six times every morning instead of, say, trusting her nighttime self to know when she needs to get up in the morning. You know how well that worked? I got out of bed after only one snooze! For just two days in a row. I can chock it up to being overworked and underslept, but then I think about things like what it will be like when I’m a mom someday. You can’t hit snooze on babies. People deal with this every single day; why can’t I? It’s ridiculous; I know I’m not getting good rest when I drift off into lucid dreams in nine-minute increments for an hour every day. I just get late, and have to miss breakfast.

The Good Stuff

Beta, Bitches. In spite of my monsters’ best efforts, we are nearly done with the secret thing we’ve been working on. At least, one point oh. Still secret, though. Muahahaha!

Remember this?

Oh my gawd you guys, do you know what I finished?? I won’t tell you until next week. But it’s awesome. Anticipate!

Well, I still don’t have pictures. But I made something like this. That there sweater, I bought the yarn for over a year ago. It was supposed to be The Boy’s birthday present in 2009. I’m going with the story that the yarn was the 2009 gift, and the effort that went in to it was for 2010. Es verdad, ¿verdad?

Do you know how freaking good it feels, to take something you’ve worked on (on and off) for a year, and just finish it? Of course you do. You are all reasonable people.

There are bursts of energy. Por ejemplo, Wednesday I came home from work at 11:00. Then I cleaned for an hour. Sink emptied of dirty dishes, smelly trash removed from the house, piles of paper sorted (and stacked neatly to wait for the weekend), floordrobe gone. I already know I can’t go to bed directly after getting home from work, no matter how late it is, so I just took the time to improve my environment a little. Worked wonders!

Objectives Quests!

Blegh. Objectives sounds so cold and business-like, but I really do want to add a section for looking forward to next week. I need a list.

I was totally fine with the fact that Thanksgiving break is coming up – looking forward to it, even – when I started hearing chatter about Black Friday. Blech, the holidays really are here. I love them, in concept. I just hate the commercial industries around this time of year.

New objective: ignore all of it. I don’t need to spend a lot. As soon as this hectic work period is over, I plan to get into the semi-hectic-but-no-serious-deadlines period of making gifts for people. Small things, meaningful things, bits of happiness for only the people closest to me.
Also: PIE!

Weekend Chicken #13: Giving Thanks.

I’m making a slight adjustment to the schedule – and changing this regular post from Friday Chicken (which I frequently miss anyway) to the Weekend Chicken. That way, I am as relaxed as I will be during/after a weekend of rest, and it makes more sense to set goals for the coming week. Sunday evening, for me, seems like a more logical endpoint to the week, and a better place to look forward from – although I reserve the right to post at any point during the weekend.

The Hard Stuff

You know what? I’m not putting anything here. I am just wrapping up a fantastic Thanksgiving vacation, and now is not the time to complain. There are things weighing on my mind, but they are nothing new (and better kept private, for now). Let’s just say that I did a bunch of reflection throughout the week, and revelled in my disconnectedness (see below).

The Good Stuff

Disconnectedness. Beginning at the time I boarded the flight to New Hampshire on Tuesday morning, do you know how many times I checked Twitter? None. Facebook? The same. I did a couple of hours’ worth of work in the form of proofreading and responding to emails, but that’s it. I completely checked out from my regular life for these eight days. I shouldn’t have to tell you how awesome that is.

Nice people, who didn’t care that I just wanted to chill the f**k out. We spent the majority of the break with The Boy’s parents, and we did…not much. I worked on a cross-stitch that is nearly complete, and I read Jane Austen. I watched a little TV, but not too much. Made pie. Ate it. Ate other stuff, too. Sunday night we headed to Boston to stay with friends, and continued the trend of sleeping until we wanted to, and doing whatever we felt like. That included seeing the new Harry Potter movie. Also….

Beer! Went to the Samuel Adams Brewery today, and went on the (free!) tour, including beer. Yum. Go there if you get the chance.

Even the airports couldn’t bring me down. Aside from a couple of wardrobe problems (missing button on coat, broken necklace), moving through the airports has been a breeze. None of the crazy TSA bulls**t people have been whining about on the Internets – at least between LAS, PHI and BOS. Reasonable security lines. The weather agreed with my travel plans. Wheee! I am currently sitting in the airport waiting to come home while I write this, so hopefully I haven’t jinxed anything, but the traveling part of this vacation has been completely painless up to now.

Objectives Quests!

Blegh. Objectives sounds so cold and business-like, but I really do want to add a section for looking forward to next week. I need a list.

So yeah, Christmas carols abound now. It’s not bothering me yet. I will repeat my mantra from last week, and just try to let it all wash over me. Nothing needs to get under my skin. I’m going to take care of myself, starting with sleeping in my own bed, with my own pillow, tonight. I am going to take a deep breath when issues come up at work, and remember that another awesome break is only three weeks away.

I hope you all had a great (gut-busting) Thanksgiving, and welcome to the madhouse that is Christma-Hannu-Kwanzaa! I’ll be sitting in the corner, hot apple cider in hand, watching everyone scurry by. Join me, won’t you?

Friday Chicken #4

Havi at The Fluent Self has a wonderful habit (among many) of checking in with herself every Friday, to reflect on how the week went. I like it. I don’t have a better name for it, so for now I am stealing quietly borrowing hers.

The Hard Stuff

This week was surprisingly devoid of Hard Stuff – at least, I managed to talk myself out of most of it. Examples include taking the 5 minutes (so long!) each night to wash dishes after dinner, finally selling my old Roomba on eBay, exercising, and not staying up until 2am every night.

In short, I’m still feeling squishy, still tired and allergic, but I’m more okay with it this week. I’m dealing with it, rather than ignoring it. I am not punishing myself, but taking gentle steps to make things better.

The Good Stuff

Movement. Saturday: ballet. Sunday: ballet. Monday: gym (circuits). Tuesday: gym (circuits). Wednesday: rock climbing class!! Thursday & Friday: holy shit I’m pooped – but I get to start it all again tomorrow with more dancings!

Girls’ Night Out! Monday night I met up with a couple of girlfriends – one who lives here and one who was visiting family. Wow, cocktails and catching up / mindless chatter are healing! Also, bonus: did not overeat, despite being at superdelicious Caña for tapas.

Did I mention rock climbing? I bought a Groupon with a friend last month for rock climbing classes, and Wednesday was our first lesson (of four). I learned to belay, woo! More importantly, we are getting very close to the awesome time of year known as AUTUMN IN LAS VEGAS, in which hiking, bouldering and now rock climbing will feature heavily in my weekend activities! I love love LOVE Red Rock Canyon.

Veggables! Lots of ‘em! I got my first CSA delivery yesterday from Quail Hollow Farm (1/3 share split with some friends, I am only one person you know), and have all kinds of cooking adventure ahead of me. Our basket included beets, sweet corn, Armenian cucumber, okra, summer squash, red onion, golden delicious apples, and Anaheim peppers. I dove right in for dinner with a sauté of yellow squash, red okra, and prosciutto, with a couple slices of bread from Nora’s Wine Bar. And a glass of Basil Hayden, I cannot lie.

Objectives Quests!

Blegh. Objectives sounds so cold and business-like, but I really do want to add a section for looking forward to next week. I need a list.

Progress has been made! None of the line items from the previous two weeks are ready to be checked off, but each of them has seen movement. I did, in fact, unclutterify a bit (Roomba). I practiced some wacky Shivanauttery (a few times, even!) – getting up early enough to do so, though that tapered off as the week’s weariness began to set in.

As for the monsters: no, I didn’t have an actual conversation. We’re not on speaking terms yet. I did, however, finally print out Havi’s Talking to Monsters coloring book & handbook, and place them nicely on the coffee table as a peace offering.

This weekend will be extra-yikes busy. Ballet-helpafriendmove-OMGROLLERDERBY, followed by blechworkonSunday-ballet-PlayDeadpreview. I already want to run and hide from the lack of recovery time, but I will try and keep tabs on how I’m feeling, and not let things get out of control. Work’s gonna be busy for the next month, whether I’m ready for it or not.

Okay, that’s not a list. My thoughts aren’t quite as organized this week. I need a nap.