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Archive for May, 2013

Next month I will turn 38.  I feel like it has taken me so long in life to come to a lot of simple realizations:  Things like — I am not the boss;  and, kindness is of great importance, and sharing critique and feedback needs to be done in a fair and diplomatic way.  Things like — “the spoons don’t really matter” (in reference to the way I hate how D unloads the dishwasher).  And yet, at the same time, while I have come to understand these kinds of things — in a rational, logical sense — I still react to them strongly, viscerally.  It’s a battle all of the time in my head:  “The spoons don’t really matter,” says the voice trained by therapy and self-help books; “Yes, they god damn DO matter!  I HATE messy stacks of spoons!” says the voice in my core — the ever present child who just acts and expresses without thought to recourse.

This post was actually supposed to be positive — focused on what I have gained in knowledge and insight.  I was thinking about this in relationship to my career.  After two years on the tenure track, I finally feel (a little bit) that I am getting into the swing of the academic life and managing the work/life balance.  As I work in 15 minute and half hour bursts of research-based reading and writing and dedicate hours to finishing a project that is already accepted for publication, I really “get” the enjoyment that can come from working hard, while also creating the time and space to dedicate to all aspects of my job.  This is not so say that I’ve totally mastered the teaching/service/research ratio.  I am still always dropping balls and/or coming up short on certain committees (or coming up short on one venture and trying to make up for it the next); however, I guess I have come to realize that a ball dropped isn’t the end of the world, and it doesn’t mean that I won’t get tenure.  (During my first year, I felt that way, and it was a tremendous amount of pressure).  I am just getting much better at figuring out how to do enough to be a responsible academic citizen and colleague, while also not making myself into a complete crazy person.  This seems a very valuable birthday gift to myself.

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I finished up the month of April (focus on Mindfulness and overall health and well-being) without a quote but then just came across this one from the Buddha:

To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

Overall, I had a good month.  My strongest goal was maintaining daily meditation; this was followed closely by doing yoga three days per week and getting to bed by 9:30.  I did not closely adhere to my goal of 25 push-ups each day, and I only managed about six days of the entire month to keep my refined sugar intake to under 36 grams.  I also did not consume nearly enough water.  There are many goals from this past month that I plan to continue to incorporate into my life, even while they are not specified goals for the month of May.  These include:  weekly blogging, meditation, yoga, 9:30 bed time, and maybe even (hopefully) the push-ups.  The sugar reduction is the one goal that I am officially reinstating this month.

For May my focus is on Organizing and Housekeeping.  My friends thought this was a bit nutty (if not just obsessive) considering the fact that I already tend to focus on these items and keep a pretty clean and organized house; however, NOTHING (well, perhaps very few things) keep me happier than a tidy house with calm, organized surroundings, so think that giving these items a little extra attention this month will result in a truckload of happiness!

  • Return rooms “to ready” by end of the day.  This simply means that by the day’s end all of the rooms in the house are back in order (the dog’s toys in his bin, blankets folded and put away, dishes cleaned and in place, etc.).
  • 5 minutes of before/after office tidying:  This means that before I begin work each day and before I end work for the day, I will set a timer and spend five minutes organizing and tidying my office(s) (applies to whichever office I work in that day — both, if I use both).
  • From 5/16-5/19 I will work on cleaning out and organizing the cabinet under the bathroom sink.  This thing is a pit and just in need of some dollar store crates to sort the items into categories.  Cannot wait to get this one under control — might even do it sooner, if I can find the time!  I will also go through my Google RSS Reader and sort out what blogs I am actually reading from those that I am not and add other sites that I do (or want to) read regularly.  I also need to spend some time figuring out what I am going to use as an alternative to Google Reader, because its service is ending July 1.
  • During the week of 5/20, I will tackle the kitchen cabinets, which are currently making me insane, and attempt to get out from under the paper piles in my office(s).  This will involve tweaking and refining my filing system(s).
  • Finally during the last week in May, I will be applying the “Magic Formula” from Regina Leed’s One Year to an Organized Work Life to my office(s).  This involves the three steps of:  eliminate, categorize, organize.  I guess that technically these three steps apply to the month as a whole.  And I will be organizing my music (digital library MP3s and CDs in the basement — making sure they are integrated into my iTunes library).

So that is the plan for the month of May.  Let’s see how I do….

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