starting 2020 off on the right foot.

y’all, somehow I’ve kept this blog alive for a whole year! and I blogged at least a handful of times every month… which is honestly pretty impressive considering how wild last year was. I started this blog with a post about resolutions and executive dysfunction so it seems fair to revisit that in the new year.

(cw: weight loss, body image issues, debt, mental illness, executive dysfunction)

last year, I chose to do three things and, overall, it went pretty well—even if I fell short of the actual goals I had set for myself. I wrote more than I had in any previous year; I really improved my finances; I improved my self-talk. great wins! so, for this year, I’m hoping to continue working on two of those and add three new-ish things.

behold, this year’s goals (vague on purpose, as I have sub-goals for each that I will be tracking privately):

Continue reading “starting 2020 off on the right foot.”

reflections, week 51

a day late, but here’s our second-to-last updates!

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve done some scribbling and done some thinking about several projects, but nothing in true progress… and I expect I will be working on my dissertation nonstop throughout the break so academic writing is most likely all I’m going to do. I officially have a dissertation playlist (which is almost exclusively Bastille, tbqh), so I expect that will also help me powering through. 🙂

be better about money. I did end up paying off those two accounts I said I would, which was awesome, and now I just have to grab a few Chrismukkah presents with this next check and get provisions for our little Chanukah party… but I’m getting some emails that indicate my student loans might go into repayment sooner than expected, so I do think this is going to remain an area for me to work on next year. I just think I’m going to have to get a little more specific than this year’s goal…

self-validate more. I celebrated myself when I paid off those two accounts, and when I took a lot of steps to take care of myself recently, including scheduling a bunch of doctor’s appointment and actually going even when they’re in the afternoon and I’m exhausted. I feel strongly that I’ve really improved in the way that I talk to myself, and I’m exploring different ways to take care of myself that I can add to next year’s list…

one more update until the new year… see you then!

reflections, week 50

hello from testing logistics hell! admin’s out of town and we’ve got 108 students testing tomorrow, so please feel free to send any good vibes, thoughts, and/or prayers our way! in the meantime, here’s a quick check in:

write something every day (except Shabbat). this continues to be a struggle all around, particularly as I’ve been handling more logistics at work. the biggest issue for me has been that I haven’t been working on my dissertation proposal as I should be, and I’m not sure if it’s the stress of that of the pressure I’m putting on myself or what, but this feels like I’m crumbling more than a little bit. (I wrote more about the issues with progress on my dissertation, and with my workload in general, on Twitter yesterday.) I’m hoping that, once the test is over (tomorrow) and it’s time for winter break from work, I can spend a couple of weeks actually working on the damn thing. fingers crossed. and don’t even get me started on the bullet journal I’ve abandoned…

be better about money. I was able to get current on every payment last Friday, bless, and will most likely be paying off one more credit card before the end of the year—so, if nothing else, that feels awesome. I know I will have to continue working on this next year, and probably for the rest of my life due to my impulsive spending tendencies, but I have made more progress than I expected on this and I’m excited to celebrate that growth.

self-validate more. this has been tough over the last couple days as I have struggled with my lack of progress on my dissertation—and with the fact that I have to explain to my dissertation chair that I’m essentially falling apart in the face of this task. I’ve managed to not engage in negative self-talk for the most part, but haven’t necessarily avoided the negative thoughts or the self-blame. I’ve been really steady in this throughout the year with few exceptions, though, so I am not feeling too terrible about this setback right now.

until next time… two more updates and then I’ll have a new set!

reflections, week 49

it’s my first day back at school (since my stomach flu from hell!) and it was a back-to-back class-and-meeting kind of day, and I’m about to go get my blood drawn for some tests, so please excuse the all-over-the-place situation happening with today’s updates…

write something every day (except Shabbat). this is really tragic to consider after an absolute failure at NaNoWriMo, but the truth is that I’ve been too depressed to even work on my dissertation even though I need to get that first chapter to my chair ASAP. I’m hoping that December will be better in several areas, but I also don’t know just how much I’m going to accomplish in one month. I know I’ve written more this year than literally any year up to date, and that I’ve built better writing habits and come up with new and exciting ideas… but it’s so hard to have another year be close to ending and still be the aspiring writer with not a damn thing finished.

be better about money. we recently made the decision to cancel our April cruise, at least for now—it’s not financially feasible right now because of the strike and other expenses, but we might just book ourselves a cabin at the last minute to run off and still have a spring break trip. in the meantime, I will be grateful for the deposit’s return, as it will mean that I can catch up on some more payments and maybe even purchase some holiday gifts! but, really, the focus for me right now is on making sure I’m up-to-date on everything before the end of the year so I can enter 2020 on sure footing and be truly prepared to finish paying off a couple of things and get truly ready for student loan repayment time as I finish my PhD.

self-validate more. this was surprisingly hard over the past week. part of it has been that I’ve been in such a depressive haze, for sure; part of it was that getting as sick as I did and when I did not only ruined Thanksgiving break for me and my friends but also really got in the way of me completing the first chapter of my dissertation. a lot of the feelings of uselessness and hopelessness resurfaced and, since it’s been a good while, I think it took me longer to notice/counteract than it would have taken me at a different point in my life.

until next time… only three updates to go for this year on these resolutions!

reflections, week 48

hello from my classroom, where I am sitting during my lunch period and which is barely emptier now than it was my last class (where three students showed up). can you say “day before fall break”? anyway, as soon as I’m home from work I’ve gotta pack for my girls’ trip to Madison (also known as the finish-your-dissertation-proposal-draft trip), so here’s some updates for y’all…

write something every day (except Shabbat). this has continued to be a struggle, to the point that I think I’m going to have to roll this over because I haven’t really created this habit yet… and I know that the only way to improve my writing and complete any of my writing projects will be to, you know, write consistently.

be better about money. I’m still in the same boat as last week, except that I’m finally in the black, baruch HaShem. next week I’ll be getting my first full paycheck in over a month, whereupon I will make as many payments as possible to get caught up before the end of the year. what isn’t yet clear, however, is whether we’ll be able to pay off the cruise by the deadline and therefore attend as we’d planned… we made those plans before there was a strike in sight and now we’ve got some tough decisions to make…

self-validate more. I feel confident that I don’t need to roll this over (because, yes, I’m already thinking about new resolutions), and that’s a really exciting feeling. that said, I’ve realized that I’m struggling with some negative feelings about some other folk and finding ways to blame myself for issues in our relationships, so I think I’m going to be looking for a new therapist next year so I can work on processing these difficulties without making them my fault… the negative self-speak hasn’t resurfaced but I know that blaming myself for everything isn’t healthy, pretty words or not.

so that’s where we’re at right now! have a nice holiday, if you will be celebrating, and make sure you shoot down colonizer bullshit and support indigenous people and businesses whenever you can! until next time!

reflections, week 47

two days late and seeeeeveral dollars short, as it turns out, but here’s an update for y’all!

write something every day (except Shabbat). this has been an absolute disaster. I think having that project soured for me really put a damper on these efforts, especially because I felt like there wasn’t someone I could share my excitement for the project with since my usual sounding board had been judgmental about it. that said, though, I think dissertation panic played a big part in this and my brain might’ve just been looking for reasons not to engage.

be better about money. this has been really both easy and difficult because there’s been no money to spend so I’m not spending but also that means that, for the first time in over a year, I’m behind on stuff. it’s been tough because I took a huge hit to my credit last year when I closed almost every single credit line I had and dedicated myself to undoing the damage I’d done by overspending during hypomanic episodes… and now that my credit is finally back up, I’m worried it’s going to drop again and all this effort will have been for naught. on a bright side, the agreement was accepted and I don’t have to worry about going without pay again until, oh, the whole summer.

self-validate more. I’m still amazed at how this, my “long-shot goal,” is the one with which I’ve been the most successful! it’s been hard to continue it after my therapist’s retirement because I have yet to find a new therapist, but I really have managed to have patience with myself. the only kind of self-negativity I’ve found myself falling into has been related to my weight, and I think that says a lot more about the fatphobia I experience constantly than it does about me. but I’ve stayed true to my course and tried to make sure I’m using “fat” as a neutral adjective, which has helped!

until next time, which will hopefully come before the end of the year! ♥

reflections, week 45

hi, y’all…. it’s been a while, huh? I somehow didn’t really write at all last month (probably since I was working on my dissertation pre-proposal and getting ready to finalize my committee aaaaaand then we went on strike), but now I’m trying to get caught up and writing on a new project because OF COURSE.

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve done decently on this for the week, since I’m trying to get this new project off the ground; as mentioned, I took last month off but I also don’t feel terrible about that! the hope is that I’ll be able to keep this pace going throughout the month for both my NaNo project and my dissertation… yikes.

be better about money. hilaaaarious to think about this after a strike! I’ve been very blessed that some friends and family have been able to send me some money to help get some bills paid this month. the hope is that things will get better once we get back to earning money next month… especially because we have to pay off that cruise, lol.

self-validate more. this has been difficult lately, between the money stress after the strike and my fear that I wasn’t going able to get myself together to write my dissertation pre-proposal after taking over a month off from academic work to recharge my batteries. but I managed to pull through, so I feel like this will be more sustainable throughout the rest of the year because the wild times are over. (she says, jinxing herself.)

until next time, which will hopefully be soon!

reflections, week 37

taking a break from blogging about feelings to check in on how things are going with my goals for the year…

write something every day (except Shabbat). since I’m doing this blogging project for the month, I’ve actually been doing pretty well on this! I haven’t touched any other projects this month, but I think that’s just as well—I’m taking time off grad school also so I can jump right back into dissertation prep in October, so it’s nice to have some time to clear my head and focus more on my spiritual side during this month (especially with all the hustle and bustle of a new school year). I’m also actually bullet journaling with some sort of regularity and doing okay with my habits now that I’m back to tracking, so overall it just seems like I’ve got my act together a bit more this month. 🙂

be better about money. the first CPS paycheck is so close that I feel like I can breathe again and that’s really exciting! I also got some money from friends whose cruise deposit I put down and my grandma sent me a little something, so I’m actually in a good place right now! provided I get my student loan dollars this week also, I should be able to pay myself back so I can knock out all my payments for the month and put a chunk towards our cruise—and still get back some rainy day savings so I can try to work only one job this fall in order to knock out the dissertation behemoth.

self-validate more. I’ve been trying to eliminate ableist words like moron and idiot from my vocabulary lately—but I find that I’m struggling to not use them to describe myself. it seems so easy to fall into the self-deprecating humor whenever I’m embarrassed; it’s so much more comfortable to say you’re right, I’m such an idiot and brush off the correction in a way that prevents me from being vulnerable and/or emotionally engaging with the cognitive dissonance. since I have improved so much in being kind to myself about mistakes in private, I’m now trying to be better about it in public and take responsibility without trashing myself (and thus inviting the trashing from other people also).

until next time, y’all!

#BlogElul 1: Decide

(for the Jewish month of Elul, which happens to coincide pretty perfectly with the month of September this year, I’m going to try to blog once a day about one of the themes for the month to prepare for the upcoming Yamim Nora’im or High Holy Days. I will most likely blog in the evenings, so it will technically already be the next day in the Hebrew calendar, but I’m really going to try to keep up with this! you can pop on over to originator Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s blog for more details about this project.)

it’s interesting that the first thing I have to write about is deciding because it is… not my forte, to say the least. I’m not sure if it’s because I have anxiety about change or because I just find decision-making very emotionally exhausted, so I often struggle to even decide what to eat or wear to work. there is also the fact that, even when I have made a decision, I often struggle to follow-through and complete whatever task I have set ahead for myself. so whether it is a lack of decision or a forgotten decision, this is definitely not a verb that I am very comfortable with.

perhaps that is why this is the word I have to start with as I prepare for the new year—or perhaps it is because deciding is such a big part of my Jewish journey.

Continue reading “#BlogElul 1: Decide”

reflections, week 35

hello from teacher institute week! I’m struggling to stay focused during this meeting, so I’m going to lean into my ADHD need to do multiple things to maintain sustained attention and drop y’all a quick update.

write something every day (except Shabbat). I am actually probably taking a break from writing, including academic writing, until mid- to late-September so I can focus on starting the school year off strong with kids and also give myself a bit of a brain break since, at this point, I have been going year-round with grad school for three straight years (and I embarked on this degree less than a year after finishing two years of nonstop grad school for my previous degree). I will try to get back into bullet journaling full-time for September and I might do some sketching/outlining for my dissertation and my novel project for NaNoWriMo, so there may or may not be updates here—but I’m going to be gentle with myself and take some time.

be better about money. I’m trying to tighten the purse strings to make it work for the next couple of weeks, but that looming strike is really increasing my stress levels and I’m honestly not sure how successful I’m going to be with this. I also had to drop more dollars at the vet this week for different antibiotics for Kiwi—who is too clever to be tricked with tablets in food/treats and refuses to unhinge her jaw for me to pill her directly—so there’s just a lot going on dollar-wise right now.

self-validate more. this was tough this week with the return to work—there is some tension happening within my department at work, which made me hella uncomfortable and, at times, insecure… and then I had to present on something that felt outside of my realm of expertise because it was developed this summer and I had to present it to the toughest group in the building, so I wasn’t the world’s most confident person. however, I wore my fave shirt from my summer job, did a brightening sheet mask last night, did my hair this morning, and I wore my lipstick armor (rockin’ my beloved Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored to much acclaim today)—so I got through it and I feel like it’s strengthened me to keep working with these folx this year.

thanks for sticking with me through this wild summer! until next time ♥