Friday, February 17, 2017

A few gripes

And yes, I know these are very "first world problems" but I'm feeling a little battered by life right now so little things feel bigger than they are:

* A group of teachers that were to come to the Olympiad and run sections have had some kind of emergency (I suspect it may be a funding/staffing/"no we won't pay your gas"* emergency)

(*And yes, if it were a "we won't pay for your travel" and it was me, I'd still go. But then again: I make a good bit more than public school teachers so I could afford it, and my sense of duty is great enough that I will do things like that - put myself out to help others.)

Anyway. Now what's going to happen? My hope at this point is either (a) enough replacements can be found or (b) they cancel the events those people were to do** because the thought of me maybe taking on something else makes me want to weep.

(**And yes, I know: it will disappoint the students. Well, life is tough and full of disappointment and you might as well get used to it early.)

The other thing that is worrying is the comment "All the volunteers except for me cannot make it" All the volunteers from your single school? From your district? From your region? ALL of the non-university volunteers? More information is needed.

(O dear God if they move this to next weekend I really WILL weep because of pushing to get this done and then forfeiting my birthday trip after that was what kept me going these past 2 weeks - and no, I don't think I could say, "No, I have other plans" And I can't go this weekend because I'm already committed with something ELSE that morning)

If it does get moved? I don't know. I will just go home and cry quietly and tell myself that I am "floating" my birthday until March 4 but dangit.

* I started following a few "pretty pictures" accounts on Twitter to try to counteract a lot of the political stuff that's being discussed on there. And then guess what: yesterday afternoon an account or two of them suddenly decided that it was time to get political.


I'm not saying I disagree with people criticizing the government (current or in general) but I would like some spaces that are just free of that. I put the accounts on "mute" because (a) I might want to go back to them later on if things ever settle down and (b) if they watch follower counts I don't want them to assume "ha ha, ticked off a Trump supporter" or something. Because that assumption would not be true.

I think about a lot of this, and I think about something the survivalist types talk about, the whole "head on a swivel" idea - that every public place now is Potentially Dangerous, so you need to be in a state of heightened awareness and that just exhausts me and makes me want to be a hermit. I mean, I have halfway-decent situational awareness just because I'm observant and my history of being teased and made the butt of jokes makes me super sensitive to "hey, this thing isn't quite right in my environment" but the idea of thinking of five escape routes for every part of the wal-mart I might happen to be in just makes me exhausted, and makes me almost want to say, "Okay, if a crazed shooter wants to take me out while I'm buying frozen cauliflower, then it was my time to go, and hopefully I'll have that last chance to ask forgiveness for my sins before I die..."

And I think the being hyper-aware of political stuff is similar.

* The Valentine's Day card I sent my mom has gone missing, and the one my parents sent me has gone missing. (The one I sent my dad arrived the day before Valentine's day). So I guess there still is a mail thief floating around and picking from the stream that goes between here and Central Illinois. And that makes me sad and angry.

(And if you ever send me a card and I don't acknowledge it, it's entirely possible I didn't receive it)

I like greeting cards. I like sending them and I like getting them. It's just nice to get mail that isn't a bill or a piece of junk mail or a solicitation from a charity. And it really does feel like one of the nice things of life has been taken from me when you can't even send a greeting card any more without it being stolen. And yes, I know: you could send postcards or electronic cards instead but THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.

And my birthday is coming up, and I am gloomily wondering if any cards that anyone sends out will actually reach me. And of course my Inner Eeyore will have no way of knowing whether (a) the card was stolen or (b) no one bothered to send me a card in the first place and does it really matter, anyway? because I am still cardless.

* I don't get a weekend this weekend, other than a few hours Sunday afternoon. And some people get Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday off (president's day). (And note to self: no trash pick-up Monday, the can goes out Wednesday). It's kind of hard not to feel slightly resentful even as I know I get a good long time off at Christmas. (And no mail Monday either - so drop that bill you have to pay off at the post office* tomorrow early)

(*Yeah, in case some a-hole is stealing from my mailbox and that's why my mom's card went missing, though I sent hers and my dad's on the same day and in the same way).

* A lot of this is just frustration: I work so hard, it feels like, and I have so little to show for it. If I were digging ditches, I could look back at the ditch I had dug, and gone, "It's a good ditch. It will carry away rainwater and keep it from flooding someone's house" but I have to so much take on faith that ANYTHING I am doing has ANY kind of positive impact, and it just....when I'm tired like this, and am running on a string of more-or-less 14 hour work days, I just want to put my head down and cry a little. I'll be better once the manuscript is in and if it actually even gets accepted (yes, I know I was asked to do it, but I don't trust it will be good enough even if it's my graduate advisor who knows my work well).

I also feel like I'm shortchanging my teaching to prep for this Science Olympiad and stuff and I don't like feeling that way.

* I've tried making some fairly draconian changes to my diet, both to try to flush any bad stuff out of my blood (heh) before my bloodwork next month, but more generally to lose some of the weight I have gained. (Long story short: I was at my lowest adult weight back in July, at my last appointment. This was probably because I was just coming off 4+ months of having something not unlike IBS where I was eating a lot less because my stomach would get upset and I wouldn't want to eat. Then when I got better, I went back to eating normally, and I guess I got sloppy, and also, I started snacking a lot more - eating out of boredom or out of emotion instead of hunger). One big thing I am doing is cutting back on sugar and trying the "no more than 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal" which is supposedly what a woman with uncomplicated type II diabetes are supposed to eat. (My sister in law had gestational diabetes towards the end of her pregnancy and had to go even lower than that). No, I don't have any reason to suspect I have it other than a weak family history* and the fact that it is in the news EVERYWHERE and apparently EVERY AMERICAN is either diabetic or pre-diabetic.

(*A great-grandfather had it back before it could really be treated very much; my father has been diagnosed as pre-diabetic but he got his A1C back under control with diet and medication)

So anyway. I cheat a bit at breakfast (bowl of oatmeal with a generous handful of dark chocolate chips, and made with milk - I could probably get it down below 45 by replacing the milk with water but ugh). I did need a snack yesterday afternoon so I heated up one of the little low-sodium frozen chicken sausages I keep on hand and had a slice of pumpernickel bread with it. (Pumpernickel and rye are lower in carbohydrates, but frustratingly, higher in sodium, than normal bread: I can't win). Have cut way back on desserts. Am considering boiling up a bunch of eggs to keep on hand for snacks and lunch-supplements (if I don't take a cookie or something with my lunch, I need some other small high-protein thing because otherwise I will get hungry by 3 pm and will wind up snacking). As I said, my cholesterol levels have always been well within the healthful range so I think the extra eggs (and some extra cheese) should not hurt me; apparently I have a genetic predisposition to handle dietary cholesterol okay.

But it is kind of a drag, and there's the whole "measuring out your life with coffee spoons" aspect to it that makes my mind rebel. On the other hand: I have more or less felt PHYSICALLY better these past couple days. And I've gone back to eating more cauliflower and stuff.

I have said my birthday day I will choose not to worry, and if that means getting a cupcake out somewhere so be it. I think unless you are genuinely allergic/insensitive (e.g. someone with celiac can never take a day off of gluten-free) it's probably not so terrible to have a slack day once in a while, but the trick is not to let them be often.

And I still work out. I'm holding out a hope that 40 or so minutes on the equivalent of a treadmill 3 days a week, and two days of doing that goofy dvd aerobics thing, will help protect me from some of the bad stuff that can happen.

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