I’ve been very frazzled this past month: there has been a lot of violence and unsafety in my community, which has gotten to the point that my doctor and I are talking about me going on anxiety meds. I’m having trouble getting restful sleep, which impacts my concentration, anxiety, chemical sensitivity, and pain levels. I’m tired all the time, and I’ve been really scattered and clumsy. For example, I managed to drop and break my phone rushing to catch the bus to school on Monday of this week, and that really feels like it encapsulates so much of my experiences this past month.
I can live without a phone, but I use it to track and manage my health, so I’d prefer not to, if possible. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to get it fixed right now, but it’s been shedding glass shards in my purse and cutting up my palms, so leaving it broken isn’t going to work out. I’m trying to do some creative thinking about how to solve that problem.
I’m still using the GHDR Tracker form, and it’s really helping to motivate me. Dave made some updates to the Tracker form; I used the new version for two weeks, but found that the reduced number of bubbles irked me (I missed out on some points because I maxed out levels a few times) and that I really relied on the central task list to help me stay focused, so I switched back to the previous version. Below are April’s points, and the Review post is below the cut.
- Build up my small press
- Consciously love and care for myself
- Continue learning and expanding my skill set
Month in Review:
What worked? What didn’t?
1) For various reasons, almost all the participants in the poetry workshops ended up having to drop out by the end of the month, which means I can’t move forward on creating a book and holding a reading as originally conceived. However, I have been doing some brainstorming about my press that’s unrelated to this project, and I hope it will help me move forward with this project and others. Honestly, though, this goal has been getting way less of my attention than the other two, for reasons I’ll go into below. Running a business while in school is a lot of work, and I’m working on school stuff that takes up a lot of my time.
2) As ever, my sleep schedule is just weird and wrong and not very functional. This remains the one area I never seem to make progress in. Not sure how to fix that, honestly. Doing better on other fronts, though: my rice cooker is my new best friend, and I’ve been using that and tupperware to make and store 5-7 complete meals each week, with spicy rice, fish, and veggies. I also combine the rice with chicken, cheese, and refried beans. I pop the containers in the microwave for a couple minutes when I don’t feel like cooking, and they come out mega tasty every time. My diet is a little less varied than I’d like, but I’m trying not to eat too much of any one thing. Unfortunately, when I get stressed over money, I have a tendency to eat less or very irregularly, so I’m having a little trouble with low blood sugar and issues around sleep, anxiety, and my menstrual cycle that can all be traced to this stress.
I’ve been neglecting my physical therapy exercises the last few weeks, mostly because of time constaints: I’ve got so much going on that it’s easy to just put off working on this stuff. I probably should figure out a time to do this regularly, but I probably won’t — or not until summer, anyway.
3) Most of my time and effort has been going into this area: I have completed and submitted all the applications associated with studying abroad, and I’m just waiting on final confirmation from the university.
I’ve been focused on my school work, but I got pretty seriously derailed late last week: on Friday evening, I realized that the application for the McNair Scholars program was due on Monday, and I hadn’t done most of the work. I managed to pull together my application in a couple of days, and three of my professors graciously agreed to write recommendations for me. If I get in, the McNair program is an amazing opportunity to learn how to do serious research and to produce publishable work for peer-reviewed journals, which would make my grad school applications even stronger. That’s been submitted, and now I’m working to catch up on the stuff I set aside to get that done, including an essay that should be really interesting… whenever I get it done.
I’m finding that my language study is running into some issues: for Spanish, my grasp of the grammar rules is tenuous, at best. For Swahili, because there are no externally imposed deadlines, it’s easy to put it off until “later” — which never comes, of course. It’s getting late in the term for this to be the case, so I’m obviously going to need to work extra on this moving forward.
My sight reading has fallen by the wayside a bit, but I need to get back on this. I’ve done well learning the pieces for choir, and we’re working on the little fiddly bits now, the tiny things that audiences won’t necessarily notice consciously, but which make our sound cleaner. I moved to the bass/baritone section, because I strained my voice pretty badly in tenor, and that’s helped me feel better about choir this term.
Planning the Next Month:
What am I working on going forward?
1) I need to figure out how I want to move forward regarding the poetry workshops. I’m going to follow up with some folks via email and reevaluate where my time and energy can go to best serve the original intention of the workshops — they didn’t work, but the interest in them indicates that something is needed; I just have to figure out what.
More broadly, I have a couple of ideas about marketing and promotion work that needs to get done for the press. This is, admittedly, my least favorite part of running my own business, but I have a lot of resources and community that may be able to help me move past my own fears and reservations about promoting myself (which I feel like promoting my business entails, since it’s almost a staff of one over here). Hopefully, some folks I know can help out here, and I can actually launch the campaigns I’ve had on the back burner since September.
2) I need to look through the pantry and figure out a few things I can throw in the rotation, so I don’t feel like I’m eating the same four foods all the time. I especially need to figure out more non-dairy, non-peanut protein sources for snacks, because I tend to eat more carbs than I should, and lacking protein means blood sugar spikes and crashes, which are simultaneouslly quite dangerous and not at all fun.
3) I’m going to draw up a study plan for the rest of the term including deadlines, and scheduled blocks of study time with established projects and study tactics assigned to specific days and times. It’s past midterms, and therefore crunch time. I’m going to need to bone up on English grammar to help me with my conceptualization of Spanish grammar, and spend some time listening to audio files for Swahili to get the sound of the language into my head for better study. I’m also going to have 5 essays between now and the end of term — 2 of them due the week before finals, and the 3rd one due during finals week, so I need to refine my essay writing process and make a list of incentives to help me stay motivated and get them written on time.
See all of the Groundhog Day Resolutions posts here.