Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The last week or so has been more stressful than usual for me--a combination of the cold weather, financial close calls, things breaking, urgent deadlines & consequent late nights, & a lack of emotional support (from the friends I had dinner with the other night, & at times from my husband).
But God has been good. I want to give thanks for a few specific encouragements:
1. My husband & I have been monitoring our spending & income very carefully & are making changes that will make a difference.
2. I have several good freelance projects in hand.
3. My husband has some specific plans for getting more work of his own.
4. The client whose job I finished on MLK Day reviewed it quickly, was very happy with it, & sent my check immediately! PLUS her first book, which I edited, won a prize in England!
5. The volunteer advocacy project that took up a lot of our time this last week is done & came out really well. The local team that has come together to work on this issue has consolidated & will continue to take on projects.
6. Target.com is going to replace the long johns I had ordered for my stepdaughter to keep her from freezing during her first Chicago winter--the original order has been languishing in the Chicago Post Office (the worst in the country, seriously) for well over a week. The new package is supposed to arrive in two days. What a relief.
7. The poetry workshop I attended Sunday was really, really good. Lots of strong poets have been attending, & I'm inspired.
8. Last night I completed my report & invoice for the poetry workshop that I facilitate (it's a peer workshop; I don't "teach," just help keep things running smoothly). I'm thankful that I'll get my stipend soon, & that the Poetry Center is happy with my work & has asked me to facilitate the next round too.
9. The garage door was repaired today--yay!
10. My niece & her fiance finally set a wedding date, & she called this morning to let us know when it is & see if we can attend. You can bet I will--which means another southern California trip this summer, yay! I always love going there to visit my two sisters & their families.
More than "a few" thanksgivings, it turns out. Yay!
My focus for the next few evenings will be to get back into my bedtime-between-10:30-&-11 rhythm, so that I can get rested again & resume morning exercise. Stress begone!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday morning when we were hurrying off to meet a friend to work on a Colombia project, our garage door wouldn't open! We tried & tried--it had been giving us trouble, & now it wouldn't open no matter what we did. Finally we caught the train--& apologized profusely for being late when we met our friend in the bagel shop.
With my car still inaccessible in the garage, today I walked a LOT. First to & from church, which is 6 blocks away--I always walk there. In the afternoon I took the train to a poetry workshop, which of course required walking to & from the trains both directions. Then as soon as I got home my husband & I walked about a mile to get a bit of supper & groceries. We could have taken the train back, but he proposed walking, which I thought was great. We have big canvas tote bags for our groceries--I slung mine over a shoulder.
But I now have the name of the company that has repaired garage doors before for our building, & you can bet I'm going to call them first thing tomorrow.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Well, my friend picked me up promptly at the train station before dinner last night, & we all had a nice time together. But later in the evening nobody in the group picked up on my "time to leave" signals; the station wasn't close enough to walk, so I was dependent on a ride back to it. I finally got there a little past 10:30--& then there was no inbound train till 11:00! The temperature was -2 F (a big display across the way gave temp & time). I stayed under the warming lights, which are better than nothing but not nearly enough for such chilly weather (& at this El stop the entry building is too far from the platform where the trains stop--if I waited there I'd miss the train). I was wearing long johns under my pants, urban hiking boots, gloves, a thermal scarf wrapped around my head, & a really warm hooded coat, so I was about as bundled up as I could be, but it was still really cold. I marched in place the entire half-hour till a train finally pulled up.
Fortunately my train transfer was between subways in the Loop rather than aboveground, but both the trains & the subway stations were much colder than usual. By the time I got home it was a little after midnight, & of course I was thoroughly chilled & exhausted. Then my husband, who hadn't noticed my messages reminding him that I was going to that dinner & would be home late, was upset with me rather than comforting.
Not surprisingly, I was not relaxed enough to sleep well--took me a long time to fall asleep & then I woke up early though I hadn't set the alarm. I did need to come in to work today because of a deadline, so I roused myself, showered, put on long johns again & my heaviest sweater. While I ate breakfast I heard on the radio that it was something like -10.
I can deal with the extreme cold, but it IS an assault on my body & I need others to be extra-thoughtful & helpful in weather like this. Now I'm evaluating (again) whether I will continue to gather monthly with this group of friends. Is the trek just too long? Maybe I should drive to work on that one day each month; getting home would certainly be faster, but traffic out of the city between 5:30 & 6:30 is hugely congested & I really, really hate being in traffic jams. I wouldn't arrive cheerful & relaxed. But I can't count on my friends to be thinking of my needs toward the end of a meal when we're enjoying dessert & catching up on each other's news--I feel like a jerk getting up & insisting that someone take me to the train station right away, but they don't take initiative to do it.
Not sure what to do. It's not the best time to be trying to think through the issue, either, since my sleep has been poor for so many nights in a row now. I hope that changes tonight.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Well, it seems my body likes being at 146 now--no change on the scales even though I have relaxed a bit on my eating. I haven't gone nuts though! Am sticking with healthy foods overall.
I did get to bed at a good time last night, but I woke up quite early & couldn't get back to sleep. Some of you know all too well those early-morning "thoughts" that are more like chemical surges--mine tend to cycle helplessly around financial issues. But when my alarm went off I got up, threw on my exercise clothes & did strength training exercises for half an hour. That felt good.
Tonight instead of going home from work I'm off on a different train to meet my friends in the suburbs for our monthly "creative group." It's mostly just chatting about our lives--we've been friends for many years--but we also report on creative projects & encourage each other.
Hopefully tonight my body will be properly calibrated, at last, to sleep all the way through.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Every night my husband & I have been spending a good part of the evening working on an upcoming Colombia event--& I have been getting to bed quite late. I've been setting my alarm late too, to allow a little extra sleep, but yesterday & today I woke up earlier, decided to get up, & made it to work at my usual time. It means I'm short on sleep, & I certainly haven't exercised beyond my usual walking for several days.
Tonight I'm going to do my Spark stuff, say hi to my teammates, take care of one or two other little things, & head to bed early. My body is craving exercise as well as sleep. Time to get back in sync for both!
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