Currently… (8/29/18): Beginning of the semester edition

Oh hai there.

Feeling: Tired, but good!

Watching: The Office (US), again. It’s my dedicated distraction show right now… Also watching UnReal, Round Planet, and Brooklyn 99 with my roommate. I need to catch up on Bachelor in Paradise, as well.

Playing: PoGo. I don’t do anything other than just catch the pokemon and hit like 2 poké stops… But yeah. I’m also still doing some Stardew when I can.

Listening to: Meditations! I’ve been trying a new meditation app, and so before bed each night I pick a new meditation to try. So far it’s been helping me fall asleep, but I’m also going to credit my new memory foam mattress topper, too.

Reading: … Actually not too much currently. I’m in that weird spot between the end of my summer break and my research starting. Honestly, I’m just enjoying the little bit of a breather.

Working on: Getting my thesis research approved by IRB so I can actually begin my work. It’s just red tape stuff that I have to get through to determine whether or not 1) my research is research (yeah, I know), and 2) whether it counts as using human subjects (which is unlikely). Once this all gets cleared, it’s full force into my fieldsites!

Thinking about: what to do with my hair… I got it colored right before the semester, but… unfortunately, it’s already faded a lot. (The picture at the top is from today.) I really liked the color a lot. He did such a great job on it. It’s just kind of a bummer. So, either I go to another salon and pay more… or maybe try doing something myself at home.

Craving: CARBS! Because when am I not craving carbs?

Looking forward to: Getting all my chore type boring stuff done. I have a pile of laundry that I’ve got to take care of. Most of it is just sheets and curtains (thank you cats), so nothing urgent, but just stuff to finish. We’ve also just have some small stuff to finish around the apartment, but overall, it’s really coming together. Furniture has been moved, boxes taken care of, extra stuff has been donated or trashed… It’s coming together.

Making me happy: life. Things are going great! Class is going well. Work is such a great fit for me. My roommate and I are doing well. I became a mod in a partnered stream, and am really loving becoming more involved in the community. I’m eating better, I’m sleeping better… My main frustration an issue with my car’s lock pins getting stuck, but honestly, if that’s my main complaint? Yeah, not a bad thing at all.

How have you been lately?

Preparing for my final year of grad school

It’s finally here. Or at least I hope it’s finally here. My last year of grad school. Nothing will be certain until I defend my thesis and submit it to the graduate school. But if anything, this will be my last year on campus.

As excited as I am for it, there is also the potentially paralyzing fact that I have no idea what comes next. I’ll graduate, get my degree… then what? I have some ideas of what I’d like to do, but honestly when I think of my future past graduation I keep coming up blank.

I think part of this is because there is so much ahead of me just to finish this degree. My entire thesis, essentially. My topic has been approved by my committee and the graduate school. Now I just need to go through training to show I know how to work with human subjects (i.e. ethics training), then actually start my research. After that comes the months of writing, rewriting, and editing.

As intimidating as it all is… a tertiary research question has brought about a new theme that I think might help shape future dissertation work. That has me really excited. Assuming I get to do further academic work in this field, that is. I know the risk of a Ph.D. — tenure jobs are scarce and the whole academic job field is imploding with poorly paid adjunct positions. I feel like I’m going into that with open eyes, I know the reality of this future… but I also cannot imaging being happier doing anything other than teaching anthropology at this current time. So I feel like I owe it to myself to at least try. Who knows, maybe along the way I’ll find another job that I love and all will be good.

I’ll admit, amidst all this excitement and happiness, part of me has been wondering when the other shoe will drop. Good things don’t last, right? But I’m working myself out of that thinking and just allowing myself to be happy. The past several months haven’t been perfect, but they’ve been good. I’m happy. I’m ready for whatever challenge this next school year will bring — and oh there will definitely be challenges.

I’ve got some things I’ve been working on, some potential adventures planned… and I’m just really excited to share those with you as the time comes. Just one more week and then it all starts. It’s like waiting in line for a ride… you’ve patiently waited for your turn, built up the excitement in your head, reassured yourself… now all that’s left is to hop in and hold on. Let’s go…

Self-care bullet journal (aka attempt number 27 to try bullet journaling)

Ok, so it hasn’t really been 27 attempts, but sometimes it feels that way. I never liked the idea of using a bullet journal as a planner AND a journal… and frankly, as a planner it never worked for me. I’ve tried a few different planners, and really only the ban.dō planners worked for me. I have no real reason why — they’re just basic planners, but something about them I liked and therefore I used them.

Anyway. As I was working my way through my actual journal (above — shown with two other daily pieces of my self-care regiment), I realized I needed something … different. I’ve always been a little envious of creative journaling and whatnot, and wanted my journal to be a bit more than it was. But the thing is.. my journal does work for me. It’s a brain-dump, and frankly, I need that. Yet, I still needed something to supplement that. Something maybe a little more structured, and uniquely focused on self-care.

So. Yet again, I ripped pages out of my failed attempts at bullet journaling, and am trying again.

It’s fairly simple. I’ve got a basic layout that is easy to replicate, therefore it only really takes me maybe 2 minutes to setup the next day. Each area is just to keep track of how I’m doing, and essentially, as best ink on paper can do, hold me a little accountable for taking care of myself.

I’m tracking my mood, activity, water intake, how I hygged, moments of positivity and/or gratitude, what I’d like to improve or let go of, daily health notes, and what action steps I’d like to take to address any issues or just things I need to do. I wanted something that, as I mentioned, was easy to replicate each day but also easy to change if it needed to evolve. It’s also very easy to fill out before bed. Outside of the action steps and what to improve/release, there’s very little actual reflection required of me. I’m able to keep all of that for my journal.

So while I haven’t had a good track record at all with bullet journaling, I’m more optimistic about this one. It’s sort of funny when you start googling “bullet journal” to get ideas… you’ll sometimes find these lists of Do’s and Don’ts… But honestly, there are no rules. And that’s one of the great things about any form of journaling. It’s either what you need, or it isn’t. You just go until you find what works for you — and sometimes that isn’t journaling. Which is totally ok.

I know I’ve asked before, but anyone else doing any self-care journaling?

And the living’s been easy…

I hope your summer is starting off well.

We’ve been on break for over a month now, and I didn’t quite realize just how much I needed this time off. It’s helped me adjust to having the roommates around again. And, I know this next year is going to be extremely taxing with completing my thesis and all of the impending edits and rewrites that are just part of the process — so I’m enjoying the peace and quiet and slowness that I’m being afforded right now.

Here’s some highlights of what’s been going on:

I have been playing quiet a bit of Stardew Valley. I actually even got my roommate hooked on it, too. Which wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t sharing my account for the game. Which is actually not even an issue. I don’t mind sharing my computer or Steam account. The only downside is that it looks like I’ve either left the game open for days or that I’m spending 16 hours a day playing.

On Memorial Day, the roommate and I went to Mounds State Park. We didn’t hit all the trails, but got in a nice little 3 mile hike. We saw the Great Mound maybe 7 times because of how some of the trails intersect. It was a lot of fun, though unfortunately I discovered that allergies are still a thing and we left earlier than planned because it felt like my head was going to implode. Next time I’ll know to take some meds before we go. We’re hoping to hit a few more parks this year, so it should be a lot of fun!

I should hopefully hear back about a job soon. It’s nothing exciting, but pays well and that’s just fine. Being able to get food and not being homeless definitely trumps any kind of snobbery about any job. I’m also starting the interview process for an assistantship position for this fall. It’s with another department, but in the same building which is nice. Regardless, it’s got full tuition and a stipend. If I get this, and keep the job, I’ve decided I’m still taking out loans for the year, but they’re going into a savings fund for when I graduate so I can use them for moving. I don’t want my finances to keep me from starting a PhD program or a job because I can’t get a U-Haul or put a deposit down on an apartment.

I have a couple health things going on — meeting again with a specialist for a follow-up this afternoon — but it’s still nothing compared to living with endometriosis pre-surgery. It’s sounding like the next step might be a pill-cam to check things out. Honestly, I’m not sure we’ll pin point exactly what’s going on… But I think we’re going to be able to control the symptoms. Despite the occasional pain from this, I’ve been feeling really well. It’s been over one year since my surgery, and as tough as a choice that was, I’m grateful for having my life back.

I don’t really have big plans for the rest of the summer. Hiking. Cooking. Adventures with the roommates. Hanging out with the nieces. Streaming. Reading non-academic texts. Quite honestly, I’m not sure I’d have it any other way.

How’s your summer starting off?