reflections, week 33

here’s a quick check-in in the middle of camp winding down… pardon the short-and-sweet (and highly uncharacteristic) updates!

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’m honestly not gonna really do this for this week/the next because I’ve got to finish my comprehensive exam paper and then it’s the end of camp and the start of CPS… but I’m going to try to at least keep up with the bullet journal over these weeks and use the weekends to do some writing. we’ll see!

be better about money. as expected, last week’s spending spree’s caught up with me and I need to tighten the reins for the next few weeks so I can get back on track. on a bright side, camp going on for an extra week means I’ll (hopefully) make enough money to be okay until the CPS paychecks start coming in. fingers crossed!

self-validate more. I had to do a fair bit of this yesterday in the midst of freaking out about the comprehensive exam, so I’m glad to report that I am still succeeding in this under difficult times. honestly so, so surprised that the thing I thought would be hardest has been the thing I’ve most successfully and consistently done.

untiil next time, where I will hopefully be a little less (hypo)manic!


reflections, week 32

hi y’all! forgive the all-over-the-place nature of this post, as we’re having a hella ADHD kinda day today.

write something every day (except Shabbat). this has been tough, but I’ve been a little better this past week and I have managed to be productive while still taking time for myself. right now, I’m trying to outline some stuff for projects I’ve been working on to figure out what I should focus on next—I’ve tried to stick to one project at a time but I think that, with the dissertation coming up, I’m going to have to get more comfortable with multitasking. I did also spend some time preparing my bullet journal and thinking through some upcoming blog posts, so I think I’m in a better spot for the next two months. we’ll see how this goes!

be better about money. the other shoe has dropped with this a bit, finally—I ended up going HAM on a Sephora order this past weekend and I rounded out my Sims 4 collection, doing more personal spending in a weekend than I had for most of the summer. but I’m still in a decent place for bills this month and into the next, so I don’t feel too terrible about it… just have to make sure it doesn’t become a habit! I also know I’m getting more and more nervous about not having a contract for the fall yet, and J and I are considering synagogue membership, so the summer’s leaner budget might extend further into the school year than we thought… we’ll see how it goes! but we’re making payments on our cruise and having that vacation to look forward to is pulling us through some tense times!

self-validate more. who would’ve thought that this, the thing I was most scared by, would end up being a strength this year? I definitely did not think so! but I think I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I feel confident in my work and in what I bring to the table—and I’m much more willing to shoot my shot. whether I make said shots(s), however, is still to be seen…

lunch break’s over so back to work it is—until next time!

reflections, week 31

yet another hiatus, although this one a bit shorter! honestly most of the reason for the delay is that I was trying to focus my (very) limited word output into my Camp NaNoWriMo project but, now that it’s August, it’s time to return to other ventures.

write something every day (except Shabbat). this was really rough throughout all of last month, which is extra tragic because what I did write was for my genre-bending book project that I am really excited about. but between the twelve-hour workdays and the end of my doctoral coursework, there just wasn’t a ton of time to really dedicate to writing—to the point that I also completely ignored my bullet journal this month. I’m going to try and hop back on that particular horse for August and, even though I hope to work on it between now and then, I am also trying to prepare myself to have a stronger framework for November’s NaNoWriMo attempt so I can really finish this project. fingers crossed!

be better about money. this has been super steady even though I’ve definitely treated myself a little bit more lately (getting UberEats at work on long days… and resubscribing to World of Warcraft)—I think that the sustained effort of this year put me in a good place for the summer, and the overtime I’ve been getting at my summer job sure isn’t hurting! however, we (the Chicago Teachers Union) have yet to sign a new contract with Chicago Public Schools, so I am more than a little nervous that the “lean season” of the summer might, uh, extend into September. really, really praying that we reach an agreement soon so I don’t have to worry about another strike! (the memories from 2012 are bad enough!)

self-validate more. this week I shared some of my grandma’s wisdom with coworkers—her famous phrase “don’t let anyone steal your peace/joy” in particular—and I found that I have honestly really been living that this year! not only have I been letting go of other people’s opinions and not trying to please other people over taking care of myself and my own needs! (she was very excited to hear that also.) something that has been a happy side-effect to this is that I have been more comfortable asserting myself in situations so, when uncomfortable or when I’m just not going to do something? I’m just saying it directly! it’s basically a miracle!

okay, lunch break ending, so I’ve gotta get back to work—until next time!

reflections, week 29

hey y’all! sorry for the longest hiatus yet—camp season is in full swing and I am just finishing my prep course for the comprehensive exam this week and then it’s time to take it next Monday (!!!!!!!!!!!). I’m nervous but excited, way more than I have been thus far… mostly because this research design seminar has really prepared me for this next step and has gotten me really thrilled about the research that I’m planning to do. if you’re the praying kind, I’d love some prayers about my exam and then my dissertation proposal—and, if you’re not, good vibes are always much appreciated.

on to the updates!

write something every day (except Shabbat). oh, man. I have technically done this, but so much of it has been academic—I started off really strong for Camp NaNoWriMo but then have definitely fallen off the wagon. once this pre-proposal and lit review draft revisions are done, I’m hoping to get back to the book I’ve been working on—some people have expressed interest in reading some of it after I described the premise, and I’m hella nervous but also interested in finishing something and then presenting it to someone, haha. I’ve also been off the wagon for my bullet journal since I never did end up setting it up for this month, oops… and my habits have thus been similarly inconsistent.

be better about money. these past two weeks have not been great for this, but for good reason—we booked a vacation! I haven’t been back to the Caribbean in a while, and only ever visiting home, and my husband has never been—so we’re going on a cruise for spring break! our roommate M and close friend H (whom I sometimes refer to as “the sister-wives” because I have an inside joke problem) are also joining us, so we’ll do some family vacation stuff together and then sometimes J and I will do some belated honeymoon stuff together. we’re sailing out of San Juan so we’ll get to see my home a little bit and visit with the family, so I’m really excited about that also! (I also bought some face masks and bath bombs so I can treat myself at the end of each camp week because it’s been a wild time.)

self-validate more. I have actually been pretty confident as camp has started and I’ve felt really comfortable validating myself—I genuinely think that knowing that I have ADHD has been life-changing because I am so much more comfortable saying “yeah, you made a mistake, but you also did x, y, z right so it’s going to be okay”… mistakes are no longer (always) personal failures; I now understand that sometimes that stuff just happens! I’m sure that, if I have a depressive relapse, this will be much harder—but I’ve been pretty even in my moods (other than struggling during some really difficult periods recently), so I’ve been able to work on this skill without “distractions.”

okay, now that I’ve done this wild update, I’m going to go try and finish my pre-proposal outline tonight. until the next time, y’all!

reflections, week 26

a day late because I was on a mini vacation to Galena! the town was as charming and lovely as usual, but the gnats were wild and husband and I were both sickly at different times so most of our vacation was spent eating Culver’s and napping in our hotel room… and we regret nothing.

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve done some of this but, honestly, I’ve been drowning in academic writing and trying to prepare to work on my July project so I haven’t had as much time to write—and, you know what? that’s fine. I work multiple jobs and I’m going to grad school and I’ve written more this year than I ever have before. so I’m focusing on the wins and being kind to myself. 🙂

be better about money. this has remained pretty steady—I think I was particularly good about not buying all the things when we were in Galena—but I still think that summer’s going to be the real test of how well I am (or am not) doing with this! I get my last CPS paycheck on July 5th, so the “reduced income summer” season is inching closer and closer!

self-validate more. still working on being nice to myself and on keeping it steady—and, lately, I have validated myself a lot as a researcher while I work on my dissertation pre-proposal (since there isn’t really another expert for me to run every single little detail by—I’m becoming the expert, that’s the whole point!) and my scores for the pre-proposal components have reflected that success I thought I was having, so that’s really reassuring also. I want to self-validate but I also recognize that there’s nothing wrong with some external validation!

I’ve got some bullet journal reflections and some recipe recaps queued up, and I’m sure I’ll have some screaming posts about this summer, so I expect I’ll be a little more present over the next few weeks! (hopefully!)

reflections, week 25

trying to find a minute to send this along early since there’s so much stuff going on… the students’ term ends today so it’s a bit of a mad rush around here.

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve been really wrapped up in my academic writing for the past week, so I have not really written anything for myself. I am still hoping to do Camp NaNoWriMo next month to finish my project, so I’m hoping next month is better on this front!

be better about money. this has been okay so far, but the closer summer and its reduced income get, the more nervous I get! I won’t really know if my changes to my spending have made a big difference until the summer comes and I’ve got to survive with my lower salary and worse eating habits due to stress, haha.

self-validate more. I think I should have just phrased this as being kinder to myself this year because that’s really what I’ve been trying to do. I think I’m still doing okay on that front, but I also know it’s going to be harder this summer, so we’re going to have to stay posted.

alright, that’s the state of my life right now… see y’all next time!

reflections, week 24

trying to get my update in while dealing with back pain at work because that’s just the kind of life we’re living right now…

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’m sure we’re all (not) going to be surprised that I’m not doing this. In my defense, it turns out I did not make my monthly word count goal in March either, not just May, so maybe months-starting-with-M are my kryptonite this year. that said, I skipped last week’s updates and honestly haven’t written anything not academic in this whole month so far because I’m freaking out about my dissertation proposal—but I think I’m gonna try Camp NaNoWriMo again in July to finish the book I started in April (especially now that two agents have expressed interest in the premise). I’ve never queried before and I’m honestly terrified but I also know that I’ve got dreams I’d like to go after, so. *shrugs* we’ll see what happens. I did get back in the saddle with my bullet journal, though, so that’s exciting! I’m going to count it as progress and dream about the future, haha.

be better about money. this has been steady enough after the big spend-a-thon of the spring—which I knew was necessary and I did end up catching up on my payments and paying off a credit card, yay—but I am definitely still preeeeeetty nervous about the summer. we’ll see.

self-validate more. I actually had to practice this in the middle of the night Sunday-to-Monday when convincing myself that it was okay to take a day off because my back hurt too much to move. I also practiced it when I applied to a dream program and when I signed up for the comprehensive exam (!!!!!!!!!!)—and I did do both of the aforementioned things, so I’m doing decently well in this arena thus far.

until the next time! if my back pain subsides, I might get into some more baking shenanigans—so we’ll see if I can get a recipe recap up for y’all soon. 🙂