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Happiness means living in the moment?

November 9, 2012
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I was recently re-introduced to Ted Talks, which I love. One of the newer ones posted was this one, in which Researcher Matt Killingsworth presents findings that suggest that not only are people generally happier when living in the moment, but conversely, they are unhappier when their mind wanders.

As the presenter says, mind wandering is ubiquitous… but, for ADHDers… well, come one… what is there to say?

(The academic side of me wants to clarify: I understand he did not present his research parameters, does not address mental differences like ADHD or depression… yes, There is truth in the concept and it caused some reflection… but I just keep laughing at it.)

Halloween 2012

November 4, 2012
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Full Draft Sent!!

October 2, 2012
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Thanks to something like 12 hours of editing with my Mom and Dad, a full draft of the thesis has been sent to my supervisor for editing.  (THANKS MOM AND DAD!)

… ug…

I just pray it is legally and logically sound… I don’t want to re-write another chapter!

It is a much better product than the original draft, but I am mentally and emotionally done with this project. I am hoping that the only edits that are needed are minor, and that I can submit by mid-November. While I wait for her reviews, I get a breather and don’t have to think about it for a while… for which I am grateful.

Thoughts on sleep and sneezes

September 13, 2012
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A few days ago, I woke up at something like 4am, basically pulling myself out of a really strange disturbing dream. I went to the bathroom and the came back to bed and got all snuggled into my blankets, thinking about my dream and how strange it was. And then it felt like I was falling backwards, like I was falling away from my thoughts. It was like while the front of my head continued to think, the back of my head was falling back into a deep sleepy hole putting actual distance between it and the front of my head. I realized what an odd sensation it was (realization being a conscious thought and thus pulling myself away from sleep, and it felt like I was pulling the back of my head towards the front).  I let myself drift back towards sleep, and again it felt like the back of my head was falling away, and so I pulled it back forward. It took a few times before I felt okay with letting my head fall apart and got to sleep.  It was strange.

I’m sick, its just a cold. Its the kind of cold that no matter what medication I have tried thus far, my nose keeps dripping. My sinuses are constantly repressurizing, I got to the point last night that I woke Mister up for advice… on double doses of the cold meds, and with melatonine, I couldn’t get to sleep. He recommended stuffing a tissue into my nostrils. It helped, I got to sleep…. I feel like I have lost respect for myself, but it worked.

Bella has finally gotten over whatever made her snarl at me when I sneezed. It started a couple months ago, only to me, I think she did it to my mom once, but never to Mister or anyone else. I don’t know if its a pitch I hit or what, but she has gone back to just rushing over to check on me quietly like she always has. I appreciate that, because I am sneezing a lot right now.

While I was laying in bed not sleeping last night, before I stuffed tissues in my nose, I realized that I have a habit. I can be carefree, unfocused all day long, but as soon as I am in the quiet darkness of my bed at night, I focus on my stresses and work out not only my plan for the next day, but even content of what I need to work on. So last night I actually put together in my mind the next part of my last thesis chapter, which is just frustrating me to no end, and this morning, I laid on the couch, wiping my nose, drinking juice and watching tv, knowing I was supposed to be working on my thesis, knowing it would stress me out again when I got to bed, but just not having the will power to do anything about it.  Why does sunshine make me so carefree? I blame the cultural construct of lazy summers. (that’s close enough to academic for today, I’m going back to the couch.)

First few weeks

September 7, 2012
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We had amazing help moving and by the end of moving weekend, the place was fully livable and functioning, with great help from my Mom who unpacked and settled the entire kitchen before she left! Then, we got the paint and I did painting the office and bedroom early the first week, with a bit of help from my Mister, and then unpacked the office and set everything up in the bedroom the next day (I think Mister was sick or something during this time).

Then, because the school where Mister works was still closed for construction, we had two weeks vacation!  It was wonderful. Basically, I would put in a few hours on my thesis while he read or whatnot, and then every day for the first two weeks we did exercise and got to know our area. We biked east and west out of town (20kms round trip was about all we managed… constant hills are hard!), we walked the town trails, the waterfront and downtown area, we biked along the St Lawrence bike bath, we hiked in Charleston Lake Park, we walked the downtown area, and one day we even tried jogging… I love exploring and having fun, jogging doesn’t really jive with me.. the whole sweating for the sake of sweating and huffing and puffing just to push yourself doesn’t make sense to me, so our just-under-1km jog had me tired, while he thought it was a good light warm up. The daily routine, flexibility of having him around and no obligations was really great!

He started work, which means he is out of the house around 7:30am, (which is usually when I start to think about getting up, part of me wants to be up with him at 6am, part of me thinks that is crazy). He comes home for lunch and gets home from work around 3:30, so we have a lot more time together than we used to. He has been tired after such full days as the year begins and he figures out what his job entails and meets the teachers and students and gets used to everyone. He has stopped taking naps after work, and as of yesterday started to work out after work again, so hopefully soon we will get back to biking and whatnot (I get bored by myself, so if he’s not up for it, I don’t do it… sad but true… the only exercise I do by myself is yoga… and dancing in the kitchen…).

I use the day time to procrastinate, cook, bake, work on my thesis, and more recently, start sewing again. When I wake up with a plan, I am productive, when I am productive I sleep better and it continues. But the last few days, when I was just stuck and not sure what I was supposed to do next or how to make it fit and stuck in copy/paste editing hell… its hard to feel productive.  I think the thesis is back in a good place. I have three chapters written (most of the first chapter is still intact from the last full draft we were editing in the Spring, while chapters 2-3 have only pieces of what was… its changed a lot),  and about half of the introduction and fourth chapter down. Today I am working on an outline, basically writing one sentence for each paragraph, as a way of focusing in on what I need to wrap up in the fourth chapter and conclusion and to ensure it flows and builds and makes sense.

So this is life in Brockville… its a beautiful town, he loves his job thus far, is challenged by it, is learning, and is getting good support. I am making progress and managing to keep the house in fairly decent shape.  We are enjoying it.

Our New Home

August 26, 2012
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This is where we live (above the garage):

The Kitchen (complete with fresh baked brownies!):

The Living room (which I can’t believe is this clean after two weeks… I think a box or two of clutter stuff might just not get unpacked… ever…):

The office:

Our Bedroom (which is seriously pitch black at night, no light at all, I LOVE it!):

Puppy & Mister:

Hope

August 5, 2012

With the move less than a week away, I am finding myself breathing more easily, ready for the changes to come. This past year has felt very stagnant… a whole year that was supposed to be focused on a thesis, which has been delayed and delayed and delayed, while working full time in an increasingly frustrating and unfullfilling job, and not feeling very ‘at home’ at home, given issues with the roommate and lack of time with Mister (whose schedule never did really did coincide with mine).  I have felt trapped in situations I did not enjoy – trapped by senses of responsibility, of what I should be doing, of what needed to be done.

Along with a new town, new apartment and Mister`s new job, come new possibilities. I have a new supervisor, and will dedicate my first weeks in Brockville to establishing a routine with Mister, to finishing this bloody thesis, and to making habits of being a good housewife. I am excited to stop working evenings, to have productive days, to prove to myself that I can maintain a household (yes, I will conquer this ‘daily cleaning’ thing). I am ready to enjoy the freedom of having options.

I am excited that for the first time in seven years, I won’t be working while studying (I will be able to be bored without the guilt of procrastination!). We have decided that we will simply change our financial habits for a while, and that I will apply for jobs I WANT rather than jobs I NEED (for at least a while). I may even just do volunteering for a while, but I need time to do what fulfills me. To re-centre myself, to feel that I am doing something worthwhile, that I am accomplishing something, that I am contributing to something.

So I am excited… to finish a year-long project (though not so excited for the work involved), excited to establish a new home and routine, and excited to feel free to do what I am meant to do…. whatever that is in this next stage of life.