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!

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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. 🙂

reflections, week 22

trying to stay on top of things this week, so here’s our accountability check-in for my 2019 goals!

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve written several days over the past week, but it’s pretty clear I’m not going to hit my monthly writing quota for the first time this year—but I’ve decided not to dwell on it and just keep trying the best I can to finish strong, at least. I’ve also gotten caught up on some of the bullet journal things I actually care about doing, so I expect I’ll have my “it’s about halfway through the year, how’s the bujo going?” post up sometime soon. 🙂

be better about money. I’ve been doing so much spending lately getting things that we need (and some things that I want) and trying to pay off some debts, so I’m really going to have to tighten up for the rest of the school year so I can be set for the summer. I’ve some savings and, now that J is working, I know it won’t be as bad as last year—but I’m still kind of having war-time flashbacks from last summer so I’d rather be safe than sorry! on a bright side, I officially have two fewer accounts to make payments on this summer! \o/

self-validate more. I’ve realized that I ask for feedback at work a lot because a- I don’t want to come across as too bossy and b- I really want that sweet, sweet validation. my work wife’s been amazing about providing actionable feedback and providing me the validation she knows I crave, but I need to stop expecting other colleagues to do the same! so for the rest of the school year, I’m asking for specific feedback when necessary and just trusting myself for the rest.

tonight I’ll get to reunite with a hometown friend and hopefully do some more writing—and you’ll maybe see some of that writing here, too! and maybe some pictures while we’re at it…

reflections, week 21

skipped another week because things have been even wilder… I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, now—I’m hopeful but nervous, and I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other until then.

write something every day (except Shabbat). really fell off the wagon for this for the month, not just this week—from an abandoned bullet journal to various works in progress that have seen no action whatsoever, and I haven’t even been updating my word count spreadsheet. and, as you can see on the blog, it hasn’t been any better here! the truth is that this has been a really difficult month for me on a personal level, and these struggles have consumed every waking moment. it looks like we might be on a path to some resolution, which I hope will allow me to take the reins of my life in the last week of the month!

be better about money. this has been so-so over the past couple of weeks—I think I’ve been doing more spending to try and fill the hole that I’m feeling because of these personal conflicts. I have tried to not buy things that are too frivolous, but the truth is that I did not need all this new baking equipment or the ingredients to test like 10 new recipes (recap coming soon, once I crack the code for the brazo de reina)… I just got them because they made me feel better. I have also replaced my laptop and I’m waiting for the new one to be delivered—but I don’t feel guilty about that because I have had my current laptop for seven years and I love her dearly but she’s ready for retirement.

self-validate more. I’ve realized that there is still a part of this which I am struggling with and which is not so much giving myself credit for the work that I have done or trusting myself to do things—but more about trusting myself and my instincts and my needs without needing anyone’s permission. I really thought that I had gotten over my issues trusting myself but honestly it’s another day, another way in which complex PTSD continues to impact my life. I think that realizing ADHD is part of my life has made it a lot easier to give myself room to struggle with staying organized at home and come up with more regimented systems to support myself in executive functioning—but now it’s time to spread that to being kind and supportive of myself regarding whatever I need for life after trauma.

throughout these dark few weeks, I have been incredibly blessed to have friends and family near and far offer their support in a myriad of ways. if nothing else, that has been a beautiful part of all of this—to know that, even if sometimes I am writing here just for myself, I am not in fact alone. 🙂

reflections, week 19

a day late because of permanent residency interview shenanigans with my husband (please send your thoughts, prayers, and offerings so he gets approved!!!), but here are some thoughts on my goals for the year:

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve done some really good writing lately—but there hasn’t been a lot of time to write. a part of that is that my final course for my doctoral program (!!!!!) ended last Sunday and I was focused on it, and part is just that things have been wild both on a personal and professional level. the thing that most shows how little time I’ve dedicated to this is that I’ve really fallen behind on my bullet journal. if I can’t find the time to sit down and update my bullet journal for a few minutes every day, then I’m definitely struggling to find time to write with any sort of intentionality. that said, I do have some voice recordings from my commute to and from job #2 that I’m hoping to type up this week to get myself in more of a writing groove.

be better about money. this took a bit of a hit this past week because I’m using some of my summer money to take care of some things that needed replacing at home as well as requesting a new passport which my married name (yes, almost a whole year later, I just didn’t want to be passport-less during the immigration evidence review process). I’m still in a better place for the summer than I was last year—but the bar is pretty low, as I had zero savings last year because I’d spent most of it on the wedding and his immigration paperwork. I’m hoping that, now that I’m caught up on bills and have taken care of the replacements and the like, I’ll be able to do some more saving in these last few paychecks before summer shenanigans hit. fingers crossed!

self-validate more. this remains the one where I feel like I really maxed out early and I’ve been working on maintaining it—which is hilarious because, when I added it to this year’s goals, I 100% did not expect that I would ever really be able to say that I had succeeded in this. it has been a mark of how much I have grown in my understanding of myself and in my coping mechanisms that I am able to pull myself out of self-loathing puddles before beginning to spiral and that I can separate myself and my worth from mistakes that I’ve made. I’ve got my very last therapy appointment with Dr. S next week, though—so only time will tell if I can keep this up once I’m flying solo.

until the next time, y’all!